PEOPLE arriving in Scotland from Spain will no longer need to quarantine for 14 days.

The Scottish Government has scrapped the isolation period for Spanish arrivals following a review of infection prevalence rates and includes both the mainland and the Spanish islands being added to a list of destinations exempt from the quarantine rules.

But around four million people in the Barcelona area have been asked to stay at home for 15 days due to a surge in new cases – while officials in France have indicated that closing the border between the two countries could be discussed.

Since July 10, travellers arriving in Scotland from 57 countries and 14 UK overseas territories that reported similar or lower levels of Covid-19 infection than Scotland were no longer required to self-isolate.

READ MORE: Full List: Where Scots can go on holiday this summer without having to quarantine

Exemptions from the self-isolation requirement are kept under regular review and any increase in the prevalence of the virus could result in the requirements being put back in place.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Following this latest review and having carefully considered the potential public health impact of changing the country exemptions for quarantine, we are able to lift that requirement for those travelling from Spain.

“We are continuously keeping other countries under review and where there is clear evidence that it is safe to do so, we will add further countries.”

He added: “Clearly the virus has not gone away.

“It is still active and it is still deadly. With the quarantine restrictions being lifted from these countries this means we have to be even more careful about what we are doing.

“Anyone travelling should follow public health advice at all times including wearing face coverings, avoiding crowded places, washing hands and surfaces, staying two metres apart and self-isolating if they get symptoms and immediately registering for a test.”

Earlier, the Scottish Conservatives called for ministers to "apply some common sense" and ensure "there’s still an opportunity for people to go to these places before the summer’s over.”

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart said: "Good to see that Spain has been added to the list of destinations exempt from quarantine rules.

"This will be a relief for thousands of Scots who can now go ahead with holiday plans if they feel comfortable and also for Scottish businesses who rely on inbound tourism from Spain."

Scotland's busiest airport has welcomed the changes but warned that jobs are still likely to be lost due to the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the industry.

Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: "This will hopefully provide confidence to people intending to travel as well as airlines looking to rebuild Scotland's connectivity.

"The situation has been difficult for everyone and the decisions that the Scottish Government have had to take are ones we do not envy, but we are glad to see the unworkable blanket quarantine policy effectively being removed for one that is more targeted based on quantified risk."

He added: "Despite this change we still have to unfortunately accept that the normally busy summer season is effectively gone and that will directly impact on jobs in the sector.

"We have tried to protect as many jobs as we can and we continue to work with unions on this, but this pandemic has decimated the aviation industry and it will continue to have a bearing on us for months to come."

Two weeks ago, Nicola Sturgeon announced that Spain, along with Serbia, would not be included on the Scottish Government's list of exempt countries for air bridges.

The 14-day quarantine rules remain in place for people arriving from Serbia. Portugal is still not included on the lift of air bridges.

As of July 8, the First Minister said that for every 100,000 people in the population in Scotland, officials estimate that 28 have Covid-19 – while the rate is thought to be around 180 in the UK as a whole – meaning that Spain, with a rate of around 330 people per 100,000 has a “significantly higher prevalence” than Scotland.

But following a review of the prevalence rates by officials, the Scottish Government has been satisfied that visitors arriving from Spain do not require to self-isolate for two weeks.

All international travellers arriving into Scotland must still complete a passenger locator form and provide evidence that they have done so on arrival in the UK if requested to do so by a Border Force official.

Individuals who do not complete the form and present it when asked on arrival may be fined £60.