Nicola Sturgeon said she is hopeful a certification scheme could allow vaccinated holidaymakers to journey abroad but warned Scotland is still “some way away” from such a programme.
Cyprus’s deputy tourism minister said on Thursday that the country will open its borders to vaccinated Britons from the beginning of May.
But the First Minister told the the daily Covid-19 briefing she could not advise people to “fly off to the sun” before there is a “degree of certainty that that can be done without risk”.
“I think we can perhaps be hopeful that, at some point, there may be some kind of certification that allows international travel similar to Yellow Fever certificates right now,” she said.
“I think we are still some way away from that because there are a number of issues that still need to be worked through both ethically and practically.”
She said there was a risk of building inequalities into the system as there “will always be a small number of people who can’t get this vaccine, so we’ve got to think about that and make sure if we do go down that road we do it properly”.
She warned the importation of new variants of the virus by travellers could risk undermining the efficacy of the vaccine.
“If we are going to open up our ability to live more normally at home over the next few weeks it may be that just for a bit longer the price of that is continued restrictions on our ability to travel,” she added.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has previously said the earliest Britons could jet away is May 17.
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch said a cautious approach to easing travel restrictions was necessary.
“I would love to go to Cyprus on May 1 but on March 5 I can’t tell you if its safe to go to Cyprus on May 1,” he said.
“We need to remember this is a global pandemic that is not under control.
“It’s not under control in Europe [and] it’s not under control in almost every region of the world.
“The Americas is still accelerating beyond anything they have seen previously.”