Travel advice shambles hammers the Scots

The ongoing British travel advice shambles has left scores of Scottish would-be holidaymakers unable to request refunds for trips their government now says they shouldn’t make.

The Telegraph explains that last week’s decision by the Scottish (and indeed Welsh) devolved government to reimpose quarantine on nationals returning from Portugal “left many Scots scrambling to get home before the cut-off point on September 3, and many more unable to depart for their booked holidays due to the strict quarantine requirements”.

But airlines that have bookings into the autumn are still flying – and thus “those with existing bookings will not be entitled to their money back” if they want to cancel.

It’s just the latest ‘negative story’ to come following last week’s almost surreal events, in which newspapers consistently predicted Portugal would lose its travel corridor with UK, only to be proved ‘wrong’ with regard to England and Northern Ireland – but right when it came to Scotland and Wales.

As the Telegraph explains: “travel advice issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), in line with the English quarantine rules, does not currently warn against travel to anywhere in Portugal, meaning travel companies are not obliged to cancel bookings and reimburse customers.

The situation has been roundly criticised by members of the tourism industry who delivered a European Tourism Manifesto to Brussels earlier this week in a bid to get some kind of unity (click here).

Derek Jones, the CEO of Kuoni Travel’s parent company DER Touristik UK, told the Telegraph: “It’s simply untenable to continue like this.”

Elsewhere, the Independent suggests mainland Portugal will be losing its travel corridor later today (Thursday), with the Azores and Madeira likely to hold onto theirs.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com