Coronavirus in Scotland: Nicola Sturgeon says holidays are still on hold because international travel bans are 'most important protection' against the virus
On the day Cyprus said it was preparing to welcome vaccinated UK holiday makers in May, Nicola Sturgeon said that the biggest risk we face as we suppress the virus in Scotland is ‘new variants coming in from elsewhere’.
Ms Sturgeon said: "Like everything else, I want to be able to stand here and say yep, you can fly off to the sun, but I’m not going to do that before I think there is a degree of certainty that that can be done without risk.
"While everyone wants international travel restrictions lifted, they are perhaps for this next period, the most important protection we are going to have”.
She said that she is not “dismissing the importance of people getting rest and relaxation” and she understands that for some people, international travel “isn't about holiday’s, it’s about visiting family”.
Ms Sturgeon said we “can perhaps be hopeful that at some point there may be some kind of certification that allows international travel”, but we are still “some way away from that” because of a number of issues that still have to be worked through “both ethically and practically”.
Earlier today it was announced that Cyprus will allow tourists from the UK who have had both of the Covid-19 vaccinations to travel to the country from May.
Scotland’s National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, said: “I would love to go to Cyprus on May, 1, but on March, 5, I can’t tell you if it’s safe to go to Cyprus on May, 1.
"It’s as simple as that.
"We need to remember that this is a global pandemic that is not under control.”