THE boss of Barrhead Travel has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to relax rules for holidaymakers who are keen to head abroad.

Passengers who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18 no longer need to take pre-departure Covid tests for flights back to Scotland or self-isolate on arrival home until they have received a negative result.

The changes came into force days after being introduced for those travelling to England.

Jacqueline Dobson, president of Barrhead Travel, described the easing of restrictions as “very welcome” – particularly as January is typically the industry’s busiest booking period.

She said: “These costly tests added a financial burden to many who were simply looking to reunite with loved ones over the festive period.

“There is no doubt these changes will trigger a major boost to customer confidence and will be welcomed by every area of the travel industry, including inbound and outbound businesses.

“We know our customers will be relieved because these changes mean travel testing is now more accessible and more affordable.”

Ms Dobson also called on the Scottish and UK governments to adopt a uniform approach to travel restrictions.

“There is no place for differing travel rules across the UK,” she said. “It confuses travellers and dampens the recovery of both inbound and outbound tourism businesses.

“We hope all travel updates will continue to move in unison as we look ahead to a strong recovery during 2022.

“There is high demand to travel. Continued consistency and simplicity from all governments will therefore be key to restoring the industry and reassuring travellers.”

Pre-departure Covid tests, the requirement to self-isolate and mandatory PCR tests had been reintroduced last month to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant.

However, the travel industry insisted they were less necessary, as Omicron is now the dominant Covid strain.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “We still have concerns over Omicron but recognise that, now it is the most dominant strain in Scotland and across the UK, it was sensible to review the measures in place.

“We also fully understand the impact of the restrictions on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors.”