Much of Scotland relies on tourism for its income and as restrictions are eased and places start to reopen after months of closures should we allow travel into Scotland from areas where social distancing guidelines are not being adhered to?
Scotland has been very successful in reducing the “R” number and we would like to keep it that way, but all of our hard work, staying at home, closing our businesses, sticking to the rules and following the guidelines will have been for nothing if we have a second wave.
Scotland still has travel restrictions in place but it doesn’t seem to have stopped those intent on travelling here. Caravans, camper vans and mobile homes have already been spotted on Scotland’s roads heading north as the spell of hot weather continues. It is an unfortunate fact that our Police do not have the resources or manpower to stop and check all of these vehicles and many are slipping through the net.
The situation will only get worse once restrictions on travel are lifted in Scotland, and if the weather holds up the way it is being predicted then it will lead to even more people travelling north from south of the border and who knows how many of them will bring the virus here with them.
With those south of the border intent on ignoring social distancing guidelines and the UK Government going against its own scientific advice by reducing social distancing to one metre, it is no wonder that many have taken to social media asking for Scotland’s Border with England to be closed….
As lockdown restrictions are eased, Scotland faces a very real threat of a second wave as people from the rest of the UK take advantage of the good weather and head to Scotland’s lochs and beaches, possibly unaware that we are still following the science and adhering to a two metre social distancing rule.
We have already seen what is happening south of the border.
A week before restrictions are officially lifted in England we have seen hundreds of thousands of people flocking to seaside resorts totally ignoring government guidance and social distancing measures.
In some areas traffic was brought to a standstill as roads into popular resorts became congested causing miles of tailbacks.
But it isn’t just the beaches that have become congested, residential areas have also been affected as drivers struggling to find space in official car parks left their cars wherever they could. This has led to junctions, driveways and pavements being blocked or obstructed and in one area there were reports of emergency vehicle access routes also being blocked with parked vehicles. Parking enforcement officers were struggling to keep up with the number of complaints being received in some areas.
It’s not just the people and cars that are a problem, the aftermath of these crowded areas results in beaches being left littered with rubbish including abandoned tents, bottles, cans and plastic bags.
With the weather expected to remain much the same throughout the summer, how will Scotland cope when our beaches and lochs become the next tourist attraction for those living south of the border?
If a second wave does come (as we have seen happen in other countries) then it will be devastating for the Scottish economy, so at what point do we say enough is enough and start restricting travel to Scotland?