Rural Economy and Tourism Secretary Fergus Ewing is urging people to stop travelling to the Highlands and Islands in a bid to avoid the Coronavirus.
People with second homes and campervans have been reportedly travelling to the area in recent days.
I am furious at the reckless and irresponsible behaviour of some people travelling to the Highland and Islands. This has to stop now. Let me be crystal clear, people should not be travelling to rural and island communities full stop. They are endangering lives. Do not travel.
Panic buying will have a devastating impact on the livelihoods of rural shops and potentially puts unwanted pressure on NHS services in our rural communities.
The Scottish Government’s advice is that essential travel only should be undertaken. We have been in touch with CalMac and industry leaders to discuss what further measures may be required to deal with this issue.
VisitScotland is supporting the call by the Scottish Government to stop visitors travelling around rural and remote parts of Scotland as we all need to look after the health and welfare of the people living there. We need to protect these communities for the future as they are what make the visitor experience so special.
There will be a time when we can welcome visitors back with open arms to enjoy all that is special about beautiful Scotland – but now is a time for essential travel only.