Politics

Scots may be able to travel abroad to ‘vaccinated’ countries says Jason Leitch

Scotland’s national clinical director has claimed travel corridors could come back with vaccinated countries or nations that have eliminated covid.

Jason Leitch painted a picture of a future when Scots would be able to fly to parts of the world that had the virus under control.

A system of travel corridors allowing people to fly to certain countries used to be in operation, but the policy was scrapped as a way of getting to grips with infection levels.

People flying directly into a Scottish airport on international flights must now self-isolate for 10 days in a quarantine hotel room, under new regulations which took effect this week.

Unless exempt, a passenger will have to shell out £1,750 to quarantine in a bid to avoid importation of the virus.

Addressing MSPs this week, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon all but ruled summer holidays abroad being permitted this summer.

In an interview with the BBC, Leitch said the restrictions on international travel would be in place for “some time”.

However, he said that European countries have been trying to work out what would happen in the “next phase of the pandemic”.

He referred to Australia and New Zealand, hailed as an international beacon in its handling of covid, having a “travel corridor” with each other.

Leitch said: “Imagine a world in which Norway gets to zero, or almost to zero, and Scotland gets to almost to zero. Now we can have – it may not be the travel corridor you would seek – but it’s an example. You could then travel back and forward to Norway, then France, then Germany, then etc.”

He said: “Travel corridors can come back with vaccinated countries, eliminated countries.”

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