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New travel quarantine list as leisure sector resumes

Gym group

Fitness fans will resume their work-outs

A significant rise in the number of cases of coronavirus in Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Trinidad and Tobago means travellers from these countries will have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from 4am this Saturday.

Portugal will be removed from the list of destinations requiring quarantine.

Scotland has adopted the same measures as England, with the addition of Switzerland.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We cannot emphasise enough that if people choose to travel abroad, they must be aware that quarantine requirements may change while they are away. The same can be said for the rules within the country or territory people are travelling to.”

The new restrictions were announced after the First Minister said leisure destinations such as gyms, bingo halls and swimming pools can reopen in Scotland, bringing relief to cash-squeezed operators, and members looking to get back to regular leisure activity.

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The police will be given extra powers to deal with house parties flouting the safety measures while local authorities will have the power to act in respect of hospitality premises that are breaching guidelines.

But the Federation of Small Businesses expressed concern that offices will remain shut, putting more pressure cafes and others who rely on worker footfall.

Andrew McRae, the FSB’s Scotland policy chairman, said: “The more firms that can re-open their doors, the fitter the Scottish economy becomes. So it is good news that local gyms and fitness studios are likely to be putting us through our paces at the end of the month. 

“However, we need Ministers to consider the long-term impact of office closures. The longer offices are shut, the greater the impact on those town and city centre businesses who rely on office workers’ footfall. 

“That not only has an impact on the firms in question, but also the viability of some local economies as a whole.

“The FM indicated today a firmer approach will be taken against the small minority of hospitality firms that deliberately ignore safety rules. Smaller firms that comply with the rules are just as angry with the cowboys as everyone else.

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“We support this change in approach and we’d urge business leaders to stay on top of the rules and to seek out advice if they’re unsure.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs: “We hope that from 14 September, sports stadia will be able to reopen, though only for limited numbers of spectators and with strict physical distancing in place.

“Some professional sports events might be arranged for spectators before then – with Scottish Government agreement – to test the safety of any new arrangements.

“We also hope that from 14 September indoor contact sports activities can resume for people aged 12 and over.

“We are unfortunately not yet setting a date for the reopening of non-essential call centres and offices. We will review this again at the next review point.

Andrew McRae

Andrew McRae: ministers must consider long-term impact of closures

“For now, working from home will remain the default position.

“I am acutely aware of the impact of home working on services – like cafés and restaurants – which are based in areas with lots of office workers.

“However a full return to office working – given the numbers involved – would significantly increase the risk of indoor transmission.

“It would also make buses and trains significantly busier and increase transmission risks there too.”

Ms Sturgeon said the following can reopen from next Monday:

  • Live events outdoors with restricted numbers
  • Organised outdoor contact sports can resume for all ages – with a cap on the number being coached restricted to 30
  • Indoor advice given by organisations such as Citizen’s Advice Scotland
  • Bingo halls
  • Driving lessons

Other changes scheduled for Monday not mentioned by the First Minister include:

  • Snooker/ pool halls and indoor bowling facilities
  • Amusement arcades and casinos
  • Funfairs – both static and travelling

From 31 August

  • Gyms, swimming pools and indoors courts, including dance studios and gymnastics. For those aged 12 and over, the reopening on this date applies to non-contact activity only

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