Ian Blackford MP (pictured) has called on people across Scotland to stay at home this Easter weekend to help save lives.
The SNP’s Westminster Leader said tourists travelling to the Highlands and other rural areas not only risk spreading Covid-19, but they put an unnecessary burden on local healthcare providers and amenities.
The Highlands MP revealed he has received thousands of emails from constituents concerned by the number of tourists visiting the area despite government advice directing people to avoid non-essential travel.
Mr Blackford previously called for all holiday accommodation providers to close in order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.
Emergency legislation was introduced in the UK Parliament to prevent people travelling unnecessarily during the lockdown; the Bill was rushed through after appeals to the public to stay indoors were largely ignored.
Mr Blackford criticised the “unacceptable” decision by some holiday rental providers to actively encourage people to come to the Highlands.
However, following a SNP campaign led by Mr Blackford, Airbnb has confirmed it will no longer be possible to book a rental during the lockdown period.
Ian Blackford MP said:
“To anyone considering leaving their home this Easter weekend -please don’t.
“You will be putting lives at risk.
“The lockdown is hard for everyone, especially over the holiday weekend, but we must all stay at home this Easter to save lives.
“The actions by Airbnb, who continued to advertise and let holiday properties despite government advice and legislation, was nothing short of disgraceful.
“I am relieved they have now seen sense and stopped accepting bookings for the lockdown period.
“While the majority of people and the majority of rental companies are now doing the right thing, there still appears to be a minority who are continuing to flout the rules.
“The Police have powers to determine that all travel is essential and I would recommend that our police force, who are doing an excellent job, act accordingly.
“As frontline staff work over this holiday weekend, putting their lives and wellbeing at risk, the very least we can do for them is stay at home.”