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The travel industry is putting pressure on the Scottish Government to align with the rest of the UK on deciding when to allow foreign holidays.

England is gearing up for non-essential travel abroad from May 17.

However, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has consistently hinted that Scots may not be permitted to travel for “maybe some time after that”.

Travel industry puts pressure on Scot Gov to align with ​UK on holidays abroad

And to date she has not given any clear indication for a timescale for relaxing the ban.

Yesterday, Alan Glen, from the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association, said foreign travel would not work if Scotland had a different system to England.

Currently only essential travel abroad is permitted and upon return Scots must book into a quarantine hotel for 10 days and pay for it out of their own pocket.

Glen, who also runs Glen Travel in Blantyre, Lanarkshire insisted: “We have to have a four-nation approach to this.”

British Airways aircrafts sitting parked

British Airways aircrafts sitting parked

He added there was no way it could work if Scotland and England were operating different systems, yet travel between the two countries was open.

He said Scots would simply travel across the border to board a flight.

England is adopting a “traffic light system” for international travel, laying out the risk of infection in each country with a red, amber and green code.

Glen said the traffic light system is a “cautious and risk-based approach” and wants Scotland to adopt the same programme.

Yesterday, MPs were warned that no one should go on a foreign holiday this year to maintain the UK’s protection against new variants of Covid-19.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on coronavirus has urged the Government to “discourage all international leisure travel” amid fears that airport arrival halls will become “a breeding ground for infection” with passengers returning from different countries mixing.

The APPG claimed new variants could “lead to further lockdowns, and inevitably, further loss of life”.

A report found in December that the second wave of the pandemic in Scotland could be traced to summer holidays and other travel abroad in July and August.

Linda Bauld, professor of public health at Edinburgh University and a Scottish Government adviser, said restrictions on travelling abroad was an issue where the UK had to co-ordinate its plans, because they would not be “viable” otherwise.

She also said vaccine passports could make international travel safer.

Bauld added: “I know vaccine certificates are very controversial but, just to be clear, for international travel they’re a lot less controversial.”

www.dailyrecord.co.uk

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