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Highlands not yet open for visitors says Green MSP John Finnie after announcement over easing of coronavirus lockdown

By Gregor White

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Green MSP John Finnie.
Green MSP John Finnie.

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands Joh Finnie has warned that the Highlands must remain closed to visitors for now.

Mr Finnie welcomed today's announcement by the First Minister of a roadmap out of lockdown as the Scottish Government signalled its intention to begin a phased end to restrictions on May 28.

However, restrictions on travel, tourism and hospitality businesses are likely to remain for some time to come.

Mr Finnie has previously issued calls for short-term let operators throughout the Highlands to stop taking bookings throughout the crisis and for people with second homes in the region to stay away for now.

He said: “Today’s announcement from the First Minister provides some light at the end of the tunnel but it’s important to remember that restrictions remain in place and won’t be completely lifted for some time to come.

"The risk of overwhelming health services in remote and rural communities throughout the Highlands remains very real and would be exacerbated by an influx of tourism from the rest of the country.

"I would therefore implore those with second properties to please stay away until we can be sure the threat from this deadly virus has passed."

Related article: Easing of Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown to begin in Scotland next week

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