Coronavirus in Scotland: Can I still go on holiday from this weekend?

New rules are coming into place across Scotland as part of the Scottish Government’s attempts to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

Friday, 9th October 2020, 11:59 am
Are Scots still able to go on holiday during the new restrictions?
Are Scots still able to go on holiday during the new restrictions?

While everyone in Scotland is being told to avoid public transport and unnecessary travel, some within the Central Belt are being asked not to travel outwith their health board areas.

This applies to those living within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Lothian, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, and NHS Forth Valley.

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However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has also told Scots they are able to go on holiday if they had already booked them.

In response, the Scottish Government have issued answers to frequently asked questions, which are below.

Can you still go on planned domestic holidays?

Yes, the Scottish Government is not imposing mandatory travel restrictions at this stage, and it is not insisting that people cancel any half term breaks they have planned. Where there are no planned holidays, the Scottish Government is asking those in the central belt not to travel out-with their area unless it is essential.

Can people go on day trips during the autumn break?

Yes, but people in the central belt should aim to only do so within their own health board area and keep to the rules on household mixing, physical distancing, and hygiene at all times.

Can I take new accommodation bookings during the tighter lockdown period from 10 to 25 October. I am in an area that is outside the areas where there are enhanced measures. Can I take visitors from these areas?.

The First Minister has been clear that those who have already planned breaks during the period of enhanced measures, which coincides with the school holidays in most areas, are still able to take them.

Given the advice to only undertake pre-planned trips and to consider whether a journey is necessary, the Scottish Government has said it does not expect people to be planning new or additional trips during this period, as this would be contrary to that general advice, however the regulations do not preclude accommodation providers from taking further bookings, either in advance or as walk ins.

Accommodation providers will want to consider the advice for themselves, and the potential risks. The Scottish Government has said it expects operators to be sensible here, particularly with regard to ‘walk ins’, and would not expect that someone, who may have already travelled, perhaps as they were unaware of the advice, to be left without a place to stay.

They state: “This is about discouraging travel and the making of new holiday plans that mean that people undertake additional travel, particularly between areas with high viral load and other areas where the virus is less prevalent, not banning it outright, and we expect both visitors and accommodation providers to make reasoned judgements in order to help to stem the spread of the virus.

“If guests are already booked to come from the areas under enhanced measures there is no expectation that the provider should cancel their booking, nor would it be reasonable to do so.”

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