Can I stay in a hotel in Scotland? Date holiday accommodation will reopen after lockdown

The reopening of Scotland’s economy kicked into gear on April 26.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 10:42 am

Scotland is still cautiously and gradually emerging from its coronavirus lockdown, and people are desperate for a staycation.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in April the next easing of restrictions which will take place as part of her roadmap out of lockdown.

The “significant reopening of the economy” includes the date that tourist accommodation will reopen again in the country.

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People are eagerly awaiting the reopening of Scotland's tourism sector (Shutterstock)

Ms Sturgeon’s highly-anticipated lockdown statement back in March included a timeline for when parts of Scotland’s economy will reopen in April and May.

That included the lifting of travel restrictions in mainland Scotland which will allow for hotels and self-catering premises to open back up to tourists.

So, is holiday accommodation open now?

Here is everything you need to know.

What is Scotland’s lockdown roadmap?

The First Minister announced the phased reopening of the economy, including shops, hospitality, gyms and hairdressers during her roadmap statement.

She said case numbers in the country had fallen sharply as a result of the tight restrictions, but lifting them was still dependent on suppressing the virus and the vaccine rollout.

The current “stay at home” rule has been the first to change, and was replaced by guidance to “stay local” on 2 April.

And changes also took place on 5 April, with hairdressers, garden centres and some non-essential retail services reopening.

More changes then took place on Friday 16 April, as some changes to restrictions were accelerated due to progress in tackling the virus.

Significantly, the travel ban in mainland Scotland eased then, allowing people to travel across the country as long as they do not stay anywhere overnight.

This change had previously been planned for 26 April, but was brought forward in an effort to boost mental health and wellbeing.

However, the change to travel restrictions did not affect when tourist accommodation, including hotels and self-catering accommodation, would be able to reopen.

Can I stay in hotels and self-catering in Scotland?

The lifting of travel restrictions on the mainland will allow for Scotland's domestic tourism sector to reopen shortly after.

Tourist accommodation, including hotels and self-catering venues reopened on 26 April subject to restrictions.

Also on this date, hospitality venues were able to serve people outdoors in groups of six from three households until 10pm, with alcohol permitted.

There was limited indoor opening of hospitality from then, with the service of food and non-alcoholic beverages until 8pm and for no more than four people from two households.

These restrictions affect how hotels will be able operate for guests but overnight stays are permitted. Those from the same household are able to stay overnight somewhere other than their home anywhere in Scotland now.

Also on 26 April, all remaining retail premises will reopened, along with libraries, museums and galleries.

Ms Sturgeon said time would need to be taken to monitor these "significant changes" carefully, with further steps to be taken in mid-May and then in early June.

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What are Scotland’s current travel restrictions?

Thanks to the recent easing of travel restrictions, people are now permitted to travel outside their own local authority area for non-essential reasons, including exercise and socialising.

Foreign travel is prohibited unless essential.

People arriving into Scotland from all countries outside the Common Travel Area (the UK, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) have to book a stay for 10 days in a quarantine hotel.

The self-isolation costs £1750, which covers the government-sanctioned hotel stay, transport and testing.

Ms Sturgeon said international travel will not be able to take place until at least 17 May, but it may not be possible for a further period after that.