Passengers on the first flight from Glasgow to the Balearics on Monday expressed few concerns about quarantining when they get back despite the islands moving to the UK’s amber travel list.
Ibiza, Majorca and Menorca were moved to amber last week because of a surge in cases; however, many people had already booked to go while they were part of the green list.
As Scotland finally moved to Level 0 of its coronavirus restrictions, one of those at Glasgow Airport for the 7.15am Jet2 flight was Jacqui Sutherland.
Under the new guidance, people who are fully vaccinated or under 18 and are arriving from an amber list country do not have to self-isolate – but adults and children over 12 must still take tests before travelling and on their second day after arriving.
Ms Sutherland, heading to Ibiza for a week with her partner, told the PA news agency: “We booked when it was on the green (list) and then we did kind of wonder what to do when it moved to amber.
“But because we’re double-vaccinated we don’t have to quarantine.
“My friend is a travel consultant and said that if anything happens they will send flights out to bring you home before it went on to the red.
“That’s why we booked when it was green because if it went to amber we were still OK… a wee bit of a worry but we’re going to go anyway because at the moment it’s all good.
“Both my girls have only got one vaccine so they’re just not going at all because it’s too much of a risk.”
However, friends Poppy and Shannon, both 20, were on the same flight and facing the prospect of quarantining when they return next week.
Neither of them has received even a first dose of vaccine yet – but that was not going to stop heading for the sun any longer.
Shannon told PA: “With all the right information we’ve been totally fine to just book it – there’s always safe ways to go about it.
“We’ve been waiting two years and had Ibiza booked twice so we’re finally getting to go away.”
Poppy added: “I’m not even caring, I just want to be in the sun.
“I’ve had so many holidays booked that have been cancelled.”
Another couple who have had both vaccine doses, Laura Salway and Crawford Rae, travelled down from Elgin and stayed at a nearby hotel overnight ahead of their nine nights in Ibiza.
Ms Salway told PA: “Because it’s just changed I think we’ll be pretty safe, we’ve had both (doses), we’ve got all of our paperwork in order.
“I can’t see them changing it again – although that’s going to be famous last words now… It’s quite plain sailing actually – I thought (checking in) would be more difficult.
“It’s all quite quiet. We stayed over the road because we came down from Elgin and it was quiet over there as well – it’s not the usual but I thought there’d be more people going to Ibiza.”
Jet2 also had flights leaving Glasgow on Monday morning for Palma and Tenerife, with the Canary Island also an amber list destination.
Maggie Smith was travelling to Palma with her husband, brother and sister-in-law just nine months after the pensioners’ last visit to Majorca.
She told PA: “I’m hoping it’ll just be as easy as it was in October, it was a doddle.
“Everything went OK and at the other end in Palma you got your test done and your temperature taken with no queues, it was absolutely fantastic.
“We’re all double vaccinated… it gives you more confidence to travel as well.
“I feel as if it’s time to definitely open up everything up because these variants aren’t going to go away and it’ll probably be a yearly injection we get anyway.
“I feel more confident now travelling than I did last year… and I’m so looking forward to sitting in the sun and having a really, really nice cocktail.”
Brian Smith was travelling to Tenerife with his son and daughter, the latter being the only one of the three not fully vaccinated.
However, he criticised the fees for tests, having only been told on Monday about paying extra for further testing upon returning to Glasgow – taking their total to £800.
He told PA: “We’ve just found out it’s another £500 for more tests when we come back and you can only do it through the Scottish Government website.
“Then, when you get here, they tell you ‘everything is online’, but they don’t give you enough information.
“(The airlines) could inform you from the start of the booking – they’re quite quick at taking a couple of grand off your account – then they say ‘Oh, it’s going to cost a bit more but it’s the Government’s fault’.
“You can’t blame the Government – it’s coronavirus’s fault – but £500 for tests is absolutely horrendous – plus we’ve paid £300 for the test on the way in.
“It’s astronomical. Some people don’t make that in a month – I feel as if I’m getting ripped right off, it just means we’ve got one holiday this year and not two.”
Later on Monday, passengers began to arrive at Edinburgh Airport as they returned from destinations which had recently been placed on the amber list.
Michael Stevenson, 70, was returning from Palma, where he had been seeing his newly-born grandson from the first time.
Mr Stevenson, who is from Fife, told PA: “The rules changed when I was over there, though it didn’t actually change for me, because I was double-vaccinated.
“It was quite stressful filling out the passenger locator forms online and various things – PDF files sent to your phone that don’t come through.”
He added: “Everything’s slower, it’s put a lot more work onto airlines.
“You can see that at the gates, be that Covid or Brexit.”