This is an unprecedented set of developments for the Scottish Government, the situation remains fluid and guidance is updated regularly as the situation develops.
At the weekend, the First Minister stated “to our hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation – you should not be accepting visitors”and that they should only “provide accommodation for your staff and make yourselves available to help essential workers and support essential services – that is all.” Furthermore, the Tourism Secretary issued a press release stating that “people should not be travelling to rural and island communities full stop. They are endangering lives. Do not travel.”
The First Minister has been clear, both in her recent media briefings and in her most recent statement to Parliament today, that: people are required to stay in their homes except for very limited purposes; all non-essential travel should cease; and all non-essential retail units and public spaces are required to close. Following yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister, the Scottish Government are signposting to guidance produced by the UK Cabinet Office, Full guidance on staying at home and away from others.
Today, 24th March, in line with recent advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) announced by the First Minister, campsites, caravan and holiday parks in Scotland are to close immediately to new arrivals, including tourers, other transient visitors and holiday lets.
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said:
“Visitors staying in pods, lodges, self-catering and static caravans should all be encouraged to return home immediately, even if that means curtailing a holiday. We will be delighted to welcome visitors back when Scotland re-opens, but for now, to protect our vulnerable communities, the hospitality industry must take unified immediate action.”
Of course, there is still the issue of key workers gaining access to such accommodation during the outbreak.
Please rest assured that the ASSC is at the forefront of conversations surrounding this and we will, of course issue any additional guidance as and when we have it.