Scots reminded to avoid unnecessary travel at Christmas in reissued guidance

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Scots have been warned not to travel at Christmas unless it is essential in a reissued plea from the Scottish Government to only take advantage of the relaxed Covid-19 restrictions if absolutely necessary.

In a renewed plea to the public, transport secretary Michael Matheson reiterated calls from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for people to stay at home if they can and to avoid travelling to visit family and friends.

The call comes as 47 per cent of people in Scotland reportedly do not intend to travel at all over the Christmas period, the lowest level in the UK, according to a Department for Transport poll.

Four in ten also said they have cancelled travel plans.

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Scots are being warned not to travel over ChristmasScots are being warned not to travel over Christmas
Scots are being warned not to travel over Christmas
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The relaxation to Covid-19 restrictions between December 23 and December 27 will see the travel ban lifted for areas of high prevalence for the first time since it was introduced.

Mr Matheson said: “We recognise people have endured a very challenging year and the desire to see our friends and family over the festive period is probably stronger than ever.

"However, I would reiterate that just because you are allowed to travel during December 23 to December 27, it doesn’t mean you have to. If you feel you can delay catching up and stay local, then that could help us eradicate the threat of this virus sooner.

“For those who have decided to travel and those working over the festive period, our operating companies are ready should the worst of the weather move in. However, motorists should ensure vehicles are winter ready and plan their journey, if they have to travel.

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"If you are planning to use rail, ferry or air travel, check with your operator for the latest service information before setting off.

"We are not encouraging additional travel over the festive period and would urge the public to work with us on this. I would also like to pay tribute to staff who will be working over the festive period and keeping the network moving in often difficult conditions.”

Scots are being told to minimise the distance they travel and to only meet with people for one day and to not stay overnight unless it is “unavoidable”.

Travel between Scotland and level three areas in England and any level four areas in Scotland is also advised against.

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