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Possible opening in Scotland mid-July? For UK residents or Euros?

I received an email today from Walk Highlands that said the government is now allowing owners of tourist lodgings to take tentative bookings as of July 15 in case they are able to open by then.

Given how strict Nicola Sturgeon has been on keeping things locked down, I would guess the only people allowed to the lodgings would be Scots themselves — or possibly UK residents.

I seem to recall that up to very recently in Scotland the furthest one can go from one’s own residence is 5 miles, so I wouldn’t see her opening up the whole country in just three weeks.

Posted by
1682 posts

No question Sturgeon is quite a catch as Sturgeon General. Nothing fishy about her.

Seriously, for many international travelers it looks like a summer without a summer.

Posted by
9355 posts

While I believe she has control on opening up the lockdown, I don't think she has a say regarding international borders. I believe that is the decision of Downing St.

Perhaps one of our British friends can clarify.

And since Dr. Fauci said this week that it will be months before we let the people from the UK into the U.S., why would they let Americans into the UK?

Posted by
4570 posts

Anyone arriving in the UK has to quarantine for 14 days. Scottish accommodation can be let from 15 July to fellow Brits, assuming there are no flare ups and therefore no reversal on this proposal.

Posted by
6133 posts

Thanks Jennifer for the clarification.

I know that Macron was pushing Johnson on this Thursday when he was in London for the 80th anniversary of « l’appel », deGaulle’s radio address.

I know I am living in a dreamworld to think I can go to Scotland in August — but at least as a European resident I have many more options open to me (so far) than Americans who are resident in the U.S.!

Posted by
6133 posts

Of course in my dreams I am most interested in going to two places I can’t go — Scotland and Norway. When I have all sorts of options open to me!

I just need to suck it up and make some plans in France or Italy — as if that is such a hardship!

Posted by
492 posts

I am a B&B owner so have a particular interest in understanding the current guidance as issued by the UK and Scottish governments. My understanding of the situation as it stands as at 21st June is as follows:

The UK requirement for arriving travellers to quarantine in one place (at a stated address) for 14 days after arrival, is still in place. This applies to arrivals from all countries as far as I know.

The Scottish government have produced guidance for accommodation providers that runs to many, many pages. It details the risk assessment process that providers are expected to follow in order to ensure that they can open safely. The guidance requires providers adhere (wherever possible) to a 2m social distance protocol (although some commentators suggest this may be reduced in the coming weeks). This will inevitably reduce capacity in dining areas. There is also very strict guidance on hygiene and cleaning protocols as one would hope and expect. All of this means (in my opinion) that capacity is likely to be reduced in restaurants, cafes and possibly also in hotels and B&Bs in terms of how many rooms they can let and still maintain the required social distancing.

All of this guidance anticipates that establishments 'may' be able to open when Scotland moves to phase 3 of the 'route out of lockdown'. The guidance states that at the moment this is envisaged to be on or about 15th July, although it stresses that this date may change and that the date may not apply to all the various sorts of hospitality and tourism businesses.

So in summary, it is uncertain as to whether hotels, B&B and self catering properties will be able to reopen from 15th July. My bet is that if there is a delay then it is likely to apply to hotels and B&Bs as the guidance will be easier to follow for self catering properties. But this is just my view - not anything official.

At the moment the guidance on travel distance for us in Scotland is still 5 miles, unless to buy essential food or medicines or (and this is a new thing) to visit family (outdoors only).

My advice would be to check very carefully the cancellation conditions of any bookings that you do decide to make for this summer. I have spoken to many colleagues in the B&B sector and most are hoping (reluctantly) that visitors (even from other parts of the UK) stay away from our remote communities this year, to protect us from the virus. Remember healthcare provision in areas such as Skye is based on the permanent population, not on the large numbers we see here during a typical tourist season.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
6133 posts

Jacqui - you are very kind to lay out all your knowledge on what the government has been communicating. Thank you.