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Scots are likely to cross the border to fly out to Spain from Newcastle and Manchester on holiday this summer, causing them unnecessary expense and inconvenience, and putting Scotland’s entire travel sector further in jeopardy.

The SPAA, which represents Scotland’s travel agents and a wide range of associate members including travel companies, foreign tourist boards and airlines, is calling for an urgent review by the Scottish government - of the exclusion of Spain from the 'safe list' of destination countries (ie those from which visitors arriving at Scotland's airports are NOT required to self-quarantine for 14 days).

SPAA President Joanne Dooey comments, "This is not just about family holidays to Torremolinos being under threat - it’s about a whole sector of the Scottish economy being in immediate jeopardy. In no way do we want to jeopardise anyone’s health, but the current situation means that Scots flying out of Scottish airports are obliged to self-isolate on their return - but Scots could cross the border to fly from an English airport, and on their return potentially drive back across the border with questionable quarantine requirements. The announcement by the Scottish government that Spain will not be included on the UK’s list of ‘safe’ countries at the moment, comes at a time when many Scottish travel agents are set to re-open their doors. We had hoped for clarity and maximum alignment with other UK airports. 

It’s hard to understand why the scientific advice - indicating that the Canary Islands, the Balearics (including Majorca) and parts of the Spanish mainland are now at the same, or a lower level of infection, as Scotland - has not been factored into a more nuanced policy on Spain. We are urging Scottish Government Ministers and officials, in the strongest possible terms, to re-visit this decision without delay. 

It is not simply an issue of Scots who are missing having a summer holiday. People do not travel simply for the purpose of a holiday. They travel to see friends, to attend family celebrations and for business. Can you imagine wishing to travel to a family funeral and finding that you can no longer fly from a Scottish airport to your destination? 

For our part, the SPAA and our Members are ready and willing to co-operate in every way we can in delivering comprehensive, accurate advice and a top quality service to Scots - well known for their strong desire to get out and explore the world, not least Spain. We're looking for the Scottish Government to continue its valuable recent work on establishing a 'safe countries' list, and refine its policy on travel to the diverse regions of Spain, so loved by Scotland's travellers."   

11 July 2020