Joanne Dooey, president of the SPAA says, “It’s a relief for the entire travel sector that limited international travel will be permitted from 17 May, in Scotland in a four nations’ approach. Although it should be remembered that there are limited flights to the green light countries from Scotland and that some of the green light countries are not currently permitting entry for travellers from the UK.
“The inclusion of Portugal on this list is very significant and important for Scotland – it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations for Scots ranking in the top choices along with Spain, Greece and Turkey.
“We expect to see airlines and operators transferring any spare capacity to flights to Portugal this summer and consequently travel agents across Scotland are ready to advise travellers and to help them to make their plans safely.
“PCR tests remain an expensive option, particularly for those travelling as a family group. Our position remains that the cost of testing – particularly the requirement for a PCR test for each traveller on return to the UK – is too high and that affordable testing in the form of antigen and lateral flow is needed.
“It’s important that travellers understand that the green light countries may have their own specific requirements for entry for travellers in addition to the UK’s testing requirements. We look forward to the forthcoming announcements of which new countries will be added to the green list.
“We’re still very keen to hear how a vaccination pass will work in practice in Scotland, with less than a week to go until the ‘take off’ outlined today. Travel agents and travellers do need to know how this will be implemented and what this will mean for anyone in their group who has not been vaccinated, for example due to age or underlying health conditions.”
“We recommend that travellers use an SPAA travel agent for all bookings to give then the reassurance of professional advice and support, from booking to returning to the UK.”
The SPAA, founded in 1921 is celebrating its centenary and is the world’s oldest organisation representing travel agents. It currently has 120 member companies, all their associated agencies across Scotland including many home workers, and 92 associate members across the travel and transport industry.