Staycations may be the best holiday option this summer - Scotsman comment

Yesterday there were no coronavirus deaths recorded in Scotland. The day before that there was one and on Friday there were none.

Nearly 1.3 million Scots have now received their second dose of vaccine and most adults have had at least one.

Cafes, restaurants and beer gardens have reopened, as have non-essential shops, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and museums.

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Despite calls for continued vigilance, it is hard not to feel that we are coming out of the darkness of the past 15 months and, as summer approaches, many will be hoping that holidays overseas will at last be possible.

Passengers make their way through the main terminal at Edinburgh Airport. The Scottish Government said a ban on international holidays for Scots will not be lifted before 17 May. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

A ban on international holidays for people in England will be lifted on May 17. The Scottish Government has said the ban north of the Border will not be lifted before that date and it could remain in place for some time longer.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab yesterday said the UK Government would "shortly" publish a “traffic light” list of nations deemed safe to visit, with many potential travellers eager to discover what countries are on the green list in order to avoid the need to self-isolate.

The Department for Transport has said the lists will be made public in "early May".

The European Union has already set out plans for digital coronavirus vaccine certificates that could be used by UK holidaymakers this summer, and Spain's tourism minister has said his country will welcome back tourists in June.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the intention is for Scotland to move into level one restrictions on June 7 before moving to level zero in "late June". In England, all legal restrictions on social contact are due to come to an end on June 21.

Mr Raab said the UK was "in a good position" to "get life back as close to normal as possible", but rightly sounded a note of caution. "We don't want to see the gains lost and the sacrifices that have been made undone," he said.

We must not lose sight of the fact that other countries are far behind the UK in the rollout of vaccinations.

Nowhere is the situation worse than in India, where 3,689 daily deaths were recorded yesterday along with around 400,000 new cases.

Until vaccination globally has caught up with our own programme, it would perhaps be wise for holidaymakers to consider another “staycation” this summer.

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