Scots in Spain have been reacting to the quarantine restrictions announced by the Scottish government which state that from July 10, those entering Scotland from Spain must self-isolate for 14 days.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Wednesday that restrictions would be lifted for the 39 countries in the green zone from a list compiled by the UK government, but that Spain would be exempt due to higher prevalence of coronavirus, along with Serbia.

Michael Edwards, 36, from Edinburgh is currently holidaying near Malaga and is due to return on July 20 when an update on the restrictions will be released. 

Michael and his partner say they knew they were taking a “calculated risk” before jetting off but that they always planned to quarantine upon return.


Michael said: “We decided to trade off the possibility of seeing people for two weeks to have two weeks in Spain, so we’d already mentally prepared for that. It was a calculated risk on our part but we planned to do a lockdown once we got back anyway.

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“If I had to be back in the office the day after we got back, it would be a different story, but we work from home. The only thing that might happen is a drop in bookings so it may not be viable for the airline to run the flight back, but we’ll deal with that as and when.

“We felt confident in coming because it’s my partner flat and there aren’t many crowds in our area. We’ve been here a number of times so we knew what the set up was. If we’d booked a hotel I don’t know how I’d feel.”

Michael feels the Scottish government should have announced the measures sooner to allow Scots to plan ahead, and has concerns over the conflicting messages on UK travel.

Michael said: “The announcement yesterday was clear but it seems like three bodies are talking at once. The Scottish government, Transport England and the Foreign Office. None of them seem to be talking to each other so it’s confusing things.

“The Foreign Office issued advice, then England issued travel advice for countries including Spain, then it took another week for the Scottish government to sort out their list which is different. I don’t know why it took them that long to announce it.”

Veronica Walker Caballero, 41, from Dumfermline, works as an English teacher in Conil with her husband and five-year-old-daughter.

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Veronica hasn’t seen her family since the COVID-19 outbreak and has no immediate plans to do so but says she would self-isolate regardless of government advice.

Veronica said: “If for whatever reason I had to go home, I would have quarantined on both ends anyway. My mum has a chronic lung condition so it’s not worth it. I think its personal responsibility. 

“I think the measures are necessary because it is worrying especially in Spain where we’ve had lockdowns in two regions here recently. I know many Spaniards are worried about tourists coming even though they rely heavily on British tourism for income. My husband works in a hotel here and his co-workers are scared.

“We spoke to our family in Scotland after the announcement and said we don’t want them coming here, but I do realise how it can affect others, especially Spanish residents in Scotland.”

Despite speculation that Spaniards may be unaware of Scottish quarantine restrictions, Veronica says it has been widely reported in Spanish media.

Veronica said: “I saw it in Spanish newspaper yesterday and it was on the national news. Anyone travelling would check the government website anyway. The Spanish government website is very good at updating the information in all languages, too.”

One Spanish resident affected by yesterday’s announcement is Ariadna Roca, a PR Account Executive from Barcelona who lives in Edinburgh.

Ariadna, 25, is due to fly home on July 24 to visit her family who she hasn’t seen since Christmas.

Ariadna’s Spanish friend was due to visit her in Edinburgh this week, but will now have to cancel her trip.

The Spanish woman calls for more clarity.

Ariadna said: “I’m hopefully flying back to Barcelona for three weeks. I work from home so my employers are fine with me quarantining in Spain if I have to since I work remotely anyway. I’m due to come back to Scotland on August 17 so hopefully the restrictions will be lifted. If not, I’ll quarantine in my house for the two weeks.

“It would be frustrating to quarantine while the whole country is getting out and about more. I also live with my partner so I don’t know what the guidance is in that respect, whether he would need to self-isolate too which would be impractical as he needs to go back to work by that time. The information hasn’t been as clear as it could be in my opinion.

“I do understand the Scottish government enforcing quarantine if the prevalence of the virus is so much higher in Spain but if it is going to continue, I would definitely want clearer guidance on how we are supposed to quarantine.”