EASTER breaks and foreign summer holidays are set to be cancelled this year despite the success of the vaccine rollout, Nicola Sturgeon said today.
The Scottish First Minister was incredibly pessimistic about the chances of a foreign holiday this year, saying: “restrictions on our ability to travel overseas is likely to be inescapable” for the time being.
Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates
An Easter break was very unlikely as hotels probably won’t be open by then, she said, but a summer staycation within the country may be possible by the summer.
She won’t be able to say whether getting away for a proper break over the summer months would be possible for weeks to come, however.
The First Minister said today: “We are likely to advise against booking Easter holidays, either overseas or within Scotland, as it is highly unlikely that we will have been able to fully open hotels or self-catering accommodation by then.
“However, for the summer, while it is still highly unlikely that overseas holidays will be possible or advisable, staycations might be – but this will depend on the data nearer the time.”
The news will be a hammer blow to the hospitality industry, as it means they won’t be able to reopen before the start of April in Scotland at the very earliest.
And it could be a hint for where Boris Johnson will go with his roadmap next week.
The PM was said to be hoping to open pubs before Easter, which may have included the hospitality sector too.
It may also lead to a situation where pubs and hotels in England are open at a different time to those in Scotland.
The PM has refused to be drawn on whether people might be allowed to leave their homes to have a holiday at easter.
Ministers have said they are “hopeful” for summer breaks but no firm decisions have yet been made.
It’s currently illegal to go on holiday during the current lockdown – and people face fines if they break the rules.
It also comes just two days into the new quarantine hotel policy which has come in across the UK.
Anyone flying in from 30 red hotspot countries has to quarantine in a hotel when they get to England, for ten days, and pay £1750 to do so.
And in Scotland the programme is even stricter, with anyone flying in subject to the quarantine.
Ms Sturgeon said earlier that some kids will go back to school sooner.
Some children will start returning to the classroom from next Monday – but most will not go back until March 15.
Kids in England will only start returning from March 8.
He hasn’t yet said whether it would be a staggered return or all kids will return at once.