Scottish tourism bosses have warned that the First Minister’s ‘managed quarantine’ plans could “pull the plug” on the country’s tourism industry.
Mike Tibbert, vice-president of the Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said that while the organisation “supported a stance which guard[s] our borders”, the industry “urgently needs a plan for how our country will return to travel”.
Inbound tourism brings £11 billion to the Scottish economy, while outbound tourism provides £1.7 billion – and supports more than 26,000 jobs. “We can’t just pull the plug on all of this economic activity without a plan for how to reinstate it,” said Tibbert.
“It’s not enough to assume that what we stop now can, or will, resume automatically when we want it too. Routes are a valuable and vital ‘commodity’.”
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday that all international arrivals into Scotland must undergo “managed quarantine”, as the UK’s current proposed hotel quarantine measure – which will apply to arrivals from 33 countries – “does not go far enough”.
This morning, Health Secretary Matt Hancock also suggested that hotel quarantine rules should be “strengthened”.
Hancock told Sky News: “You keep reading out that Sage wanted mandatory isolation for those that arrive, and that’s what we’ve got. I’m up for strengthening that further.”
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