TRAVELLERS returning from Spain have spoken out about confusion over Scottish Government guidance on self-isolation.

The country was not on the list of exemptions for those arriving in Scotland so all people coming into the country from Spain were told they must quarantine for 14 days.

Those who break the quarantine risk a fine of £480.

On Monday night the Scottish Government posted information online that caused confusion for those entering the country.

The first line of the published information says "Travellers arriving from mainland and islands exempt from quarantine requirements" then goes on to say "Spain and the Spanish islands will be added later this week" but doesn't say which day.

This left some travellers confused as to whether they would have to quarantine for the full two weeks.

The Scottish Government web page detailing the country exemptions first said that Spain had been added to the exemption list on Thursday, July 23.

But it then went on to say "From July 10, 2020... passengers arriving from the following countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival in Scotland" and gives Spain as one of those countries.

Some news reports also added to the confusion, saying earlier this week "Travellers to Scotland do not have to isolate on arrival."

Craig Macdonald was in Valencia with his boyfriend and returned home on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old, who worked in the travel industry, said they read the initial government advice as meaning they did not have to quarantine.

It was only on receiving a text message on Thursday from a friend who had also been in Spain that they discovered they should have been self-isolating.

Craig said: "When I looked at the Scottish Government website on Monday it read as though you didn't need to quarantine and gave no dates.

"We had gone to Spain with a clear plan for self-isolating on our return but then thought we didn't need it so have been out and about; we've broken quarantine without knowing we were doing so."

One passenger said: "I found it really difficult to determine what the quarantine rule was for returning from Spain at the start of this week.

"Border Force at the airport didn't know, media reports were confusing, and the update on Thursday to the Scottish Government website on exemptions could be read as if the quarantine for Spain didn't apply from July 10.

"I wouldn't be surprised if most people arriving before Thursday think that they don't have to self isolate.

"Only place it's clear is the legislation itself. Pretty confusing messages all round."

Travel exemptions have been introduced to bolster the ailing tourism industry by allowing free movement between Scotland and certain countries with similar or lower rates of the virus.

Reports from Spain yesterday said there were 2615 new cases in Madrid in one day with fears of a second wave in the country.

One traveller, returned home to Kelvinbridge following two weeks in Barcelona and Madrid, added: "Why is it better for me to have stayed in Spain for two extra nights and come home yesterday as the situation was getting worse?

"I went out there knowing Spain was on the list and I took a gamble by staying for a second week in the hope the country would be added to the exemptions list.

"I would have been better staying two extra days and flying home on Thursday, even though the coronavirus rates are rising in the country.

"I want to do my bit and will be self-isolating but how many people have flown back from Spain in the past few days not understand they are not free to move around?

"I checked really thoroughly for the correct advice and I couldn't find anything straightforward or clear - even going direct to the course, the Scottish Government's own publication, was confusing.

"Even coming into the country, we asked the border guards what we were meant to do and they just shrugged their shoulders.

"If it wasn't for a friend saying, 'I don't think you are free' then I wouldn't be any the wiser."

A Scottish Government spokesman clarified that those who returned from Spain before Thursday must self-isolate for the full 14 days.

He said: “Individuals arriving in Scotland must adhere to the regulations which are in force at the time when they enter the country."

The wording of the government website was changed later yesterday afternoon.