“I know it’s been a while, but I’m confident that soon, you’ll be able to come and visit us!”

So I kept telling my mother, a nurse in a rural region of central France, who has been double-jabbed for months now. After all, it would only be logical that if fully vaccinated UK residents were able to travel with limited constraints, people in Europe who received the same jags, with the same efficiency, would be too.

But being a foreign citizen during this pandemic has meant having incessant curveballs thrown at you. First, the fact that vaccines administered outside the UK are not yet recognised here, with no visibility whatsoever as to when this will change: this also impacts British citizens abroad.

Then, the recent announcement that changes to the amber list rule for fully UK vaccinated people do not apply to France, allegedly because of concerns posed by the Beta variant in the country.

READ MORE: Scottish Government says quarantine will remain for vaccinated travellers returning from France

As much as I understand the need for caution when it comes to traveling during the health crisis, this decision was a hammer blow to thousands of fellow French citizens who have chosen to make Scotland their home.

It feels unnecessary, unfair and absurd for many reasons, especially because the Scottish Government could actually decide not to placate the UK’s government measure. Why choose to follow England’s decision when we perfectly know it is a mistake?

The Beta variant is mainly present in La Réunion Island, located in the Indian Ocean, 6,000 miles away from continental Europe. In mainland France, the variant represents under 4% of all cases and is sustainably declining because of the Delta variant’s dramatic surge. The French government has imposed many restrictions to go there and to other overseas territories, precisely because of this variant of concern (and others).

To illustrate the utter and complete absurdity of this travel guidance, the UK government has confirmed that this last-minute rule would only apply to mainland France, where case numbers are lower than the UK numbers, while fully vaccinated travellers returning to the UK from La Réunion do not need to self-isolate. How does that make any sense?

As the First Minister often says, for many fellow foreign citizens, travelling abroad is not about holidays: it is about seeing their families, kept apart by the pandemic for over a year now, or even for work as not all countries are as fond of remote work as Scotland. For some of us, going to France is about seeing elderly parents, allowing our first child to meet our families after going through pregnancy and birth far away from our relatives, and grieving loved ones we have lost over the past few months.

People who have a British passport and who have their families on this side of the Channel would feel these are essential reasons for travelling across the country. Should we understand, because we are foreigners and chose this country, that what is essential for people born and bred in Scotland isn’t essential for us? Or is it that our voice simply doesn’t count, because we are a minority of people?

Most reasonable minds agree this travel guidance coming from nowhere doesn’t bear any logic or scientific basis. Frankly, it feels like another opportunity to scapegoat foreigners for the Covid situation in this country, where infections with the contagious Delta variant are allowed to go through the roof this summer. It has become common wisdom to point fingers at us for endangering the country.

This pandemic has been challenging for foreign citizens in Scotland, even for those of us who have friends here and feel very integrated: many have suffered from crushing solitude and isolation, only clinging to the hope that this summer would, at last, be an opportunity to reunite with our families and close friends.

Warm words about valuing Scotland’s diverse society and the contribution of all its people ring hollow when they are not followed by concrete actions.

Assa Samaké-Roman is a French journalist and political author based in Edinburgh.