Nicola Sturgeon has played down the chances of Scots being able to travel abroad on holiday in the immediate future.
The First Minister said non-essential overseas trips being banned was a “price we have to pay” for more domestic freedoms in the short term.
Speaking at her one covid media briefing this week, the First Minister pointed to the example of mainland European countries such as France which have recently began a new period of lockdown as covid cases continue to rise.
Under the Scottish Government’s current routemap out of lockdown, non-essential travel outside of the UK is banned until at least May 17.
Scots are currently being urged to “stay local” and remain within their local authority area, but wider travel across Scotland and the UK may be possible from April 26 if covid cases continue to drop.
Asked about the possibility of that date being brought forward, the First Minister explained caution was still required.
She said: “One of the prices we are going to have to pay for a bit of time to get more normality back domestically is not travelling overseas.
“It’s very difficult for people who family overseas, therefore we don’t want that restriction to be in place than any longer than necessary.
“But that is perhaps one of the things that is necessary if we are to get something approaching domestic normality back.
“Things in many parts of Europe are going in the wrong direction again. That would say to me the caution on international travel is more important, not less important.”
Jason Leitch, the Scottish Government’s clinical adviser, added:: “On the risk of variants, we don’t know where the next one is going to come from.
“Remember, variants are more likely in high-prevalence areas. So if you’re going to get one, it might be French, for example.”