EVERY single campsite, caravan park and holiday resort in Scotland has been told to close to new arrivals amidst ongoing fears about the spread of Covid-19.

New restrictions have already been placed on ferry travel and more after public outcry about the arrival of campervans and tourers in rural parts of the country.

Critics including Judy Murray have urged travellers to “go home” and avoid putting Highland and Island regions at risk. Now, holiday lets and more have been told to “close immediately to new arrivals”, with second home owners in holiday parks to be told to return to their main residences “where they can do so safely and practically”.

Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “As the Scottish Government has made abundantly clear, this is not the time for holidays, travel, or for being away from home. Additional visitors, particularly to rural areas and our islands, will put a severe strain on local resources and the NHS, which is not set up to cover the needs of non-residents long term. 

“All those who can safely do so should now return to their primary residence. However, I also understand that in some cases, residential mobile homes, motorhomes, campervans and holiday lets on a caravan park or tourist site may be someone’s primary home, and that some people will be unable to return to where they usually live.

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“Sites should be sympathetic to the circumstances of these individuals, and should, where necessary, remain open on a partial basis for these occupants only.”

He went on: “We recognise this is an incredibly testing time for the tourism industry and we appreciate the tremendous effort under way by businesses, large and small, within the sector to respond. I am therefore grateful to the business organisations that represent campsites, holiday parks, caravan sites, and motorhome hire businesses for supporting their members to close at this difficult time. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to campsites, caravan and holiday parks in Scotland when it is safe to do so.”

Jeanette Wilson, of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association (BH&HPA) in Scotland, said its members have already closed “with great sadness”. She went on: “BH&HPA wholeheartedly supports the Scottish Government’s directive to all parks in Scotland.”

Catherine Bunn, of the Campervan and Motorhome Professional Association, added: “Many of our members have already taken action to ground their hire fleets, but we have asked any hire companies with vehicles still out, to recall them back to base with immediate effect. We are asking all motorhome owners across the country to only use their motorhomes for essential journeys – now is not the time to take a holiday or even a day trip. We urge the rest of the hospitality sector to follow suit. 

“Visitors staying in pods, lodges, self-catering and static caravans should all be encouraged to return home immediately, even if that means curtailing a holiday. We will be delighted to welcome visitors back when Scotland re-opens, but for now, to protect our vulnerable communities, the hospitality industry must take unified immediate action.”