Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has today challenged the Scottish Government to fix clashes between their own travel guidance and the regulations set to come in to force on Friday 20thNovember.
The challenge comes on the day that TUI holiday company announced it was not cancelling its holidays to the Canaries even though it would be illegal for most holidaymakers to travel to the airport. It would mean those people would not get refunds on their holidays.
The Scottish Government’s travel guidance states:
“People who live in a Level 3 or 4 local authority area in Scotland are now required to stay in that area unless they have a reasonable excuse to travel, such as work, education, or welfare reasons… Going on holiday, including abroad, is not a reasonable excuse to leave. If it has been announced that your local authority area is about to move into either level 3 or 4 please do not then travel overseas for non-essential reasons such as a holiday.”
However, these instructions are absent from legal regulations.
His calls come after the Scottish Government suggested that it was illegal for people to travel to an airport but not illegal to travel internationally.
Mr Rennie said:
“People across Scotland in level three and four areas are baffled that the Scottish Government’s travel guidance tells them that they cannot travel to Edinburgh or Glasgow airportsfor a holiday abroad, yet flights are still departing and these recommendations are not written into the legal regulations.
“Not only is this confusing but it is also potentially costly because legally people are unable to get refunds unless their travel has been cancelled by the government.
“The decision by TUI to keep flying is a real concern for those people unable to get to the airport.
“The travel industry has raised concerns that the Scottish Government is not acting in line with Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice and they are stuck between a rock and hard place. Had the industry had sight of these plans and guidance, they could have sought advice in advance and made contingency plans.
“The Scottish Government must clarify what happens to customers who will be forced to cancel at 100% cancellation charges if they comply with the law and not travel abroad.”