Is this why Covid soared in Scotland from mid-August?

Campervans parked up at Ceannabeinne Beach, near Durness
(c) Andrew Cawley

Foreword: I am of course, like Prof Pennington, not an epidemiologist or a virologist, though I do, again like him, know what it is to have turned up my nose at Wishaw spam.

On the 20th June, the Sunday Post, reported:

Scotland faces an influx of 6.4 million visitors this summer as UK staycationers head here in record numbers, according to industry data.

Tracking research commissioned by GB national tourist boards, including VisitScotland, is used to measure UK residents’ holiday intentions, with the latest Scotland report, up to the end of last month, showing a “more positive” outlook than at any point last year.

It shows more than a third of all UK adults anticipate taking an overnight trip from June to September, with nearly a half planning to do so between June and December. August is set to be the peak month. The Highlands are the most favoured destination, with 36% of the staycationers from outside Scotland planning on visiting there.

On July 28th NPR reported:

Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States and much of Europe will be able to enter England and Scotland without quarantining starting next week, U.K. officials said Wednesday — a move welcomed by Britain’s ailing travel industry.

The British government said people who have received both doses of a vaccine approved by the FDA in the U.S. or the European Medicines Agency, which regulates drugs for the European Union and several other countries, will be able to take pre- and post-arrival coronavirus tests instead of self-isolating for 10 days after entering England.

The rule change takes effect at 4 a.m. U.K. time (0300 GMT) on Monday 2nd August.

On the 25th July and until the 3rd September, England’s school holidays began.

Two weeks later, Scotland’s Covid infection rate began to soar, peaking on 7th September, shortly after England’s schools re-opened.

Why might tourists from England and Wales have posed a risk additional to their sheer numbers arriving often in small-population rural parts of Scotland?

The population, especially in the rural areas had a significantly lower level of immunity than the tourists did.

Think Europeans arrive in 16th Century America but on a less dramatic scale?

Campervans parked up at Ceannabeinne Beach, near Durness
(c) Andrew Cawley

11 thoughts on “Is this why Covid soared in Scotland from mid-August?

    1. There was an additional issue seen by anyone in retail or public services with English tourists assuming their Covid restrictions applied here and many refused, point blank, to comply with ours.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. But no similar spike in England at this time? More likely India off the red list and arrival of delta. Removal of some restrictions by SG.
    Lower levels of immunity in Scotland since we were more careful before. Plus return to school.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Scotland ( and Wales ) are fighting an epidemic of ignorance as well as a pandemic .

    Both countries have been inundated by visitors from England who have been exposed to a potentially fatal virus coupled with some of the most contradictory advice from their Government leaders ( Johnson and Co.) .

    Time after time the English Government have changed advice , removed safety measures only to later , after more surges , replace them , impose lockdowns then open up ( too soon ) , implement mandatory face masks then ( again too soon ) remove this safety feature , create the most useless and contradictory travel ”ban” system in the known universe , then tinker with it on a weekly basis but still get it wrong !
    These poor people have been misled from the beginning so have little idea , it would appear, that when they travel furth of England they are more than likely to spread this contagion to other areas who have been trying to fight the virus in a more pragmatic and sensible fashion .
    Not their fault – purely down to the ignorant blundering of a fatally arrogant few in high office in London .
    Covid’s victory was won on the playing fields of Eton !

    Liked by 5 people

  3. It’s hard to say, in a way any large number of people holidaying in Scotland would undoubtedly have helped spread the virus, but whatever the case, numbers of Covid infections and deaths in England right now are really bad, it’s shocking in fact. Perhaps their government should be doing something about it, maybe even investigating WHY it’s so bad there, but they will not. High demand on their NHS is a gift to the BritNats, so why bother trying to reduce infection rates.

    The difference between England and Scotland re the handling of the this awful deadly virus has been like chalk and cheese, but again against the odds, given the bullying attitude of the EngUKGov towards Scotland, and the expectation that Scotland should bow down to their masters and do as they say, or else.

    Not perfect but it is just as well Scotland has a government that actually cares and acts appropriately to situations like this, working in the interests of their own country, just as well really because had any BritNat party been at the helm in Scotland this past 20 months, the outcome would most certainly have been much worse and more deadly for the people of Scotland.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. In early summer there were hardly any cases in the Highlands and Islands. The map produced by PHS showed these areas in the palest of pale lilac. As the summer progressed these colours deepened.

    For sure increasing numbers of holiday makers from South of the Border but also holidaymakers from within Scotland especially the Central Belt where cases had remained stubbornly high added to the increase in cases in the Highlands and Islands. In addition there were visitors from overseas although not in the numbers of previous years and, not to be overlooked, residents from the H&Is and from other areas of Scotland going on holiday outwith Scotland and bringing the virus back with them.

    Mobility back and forth adding to the spike but difficult to quantify or assign the contribution from each category.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. On w/b 24/05/21, the average number of cases (ie 7 day total divided by 7) in the Highland HB was 12.8 cases.
    On w/b 24/08/21 the average number of daily cases in the Highland HB area was 265.8. The following week was even higher – 316.2.
    The level only started to fall back to ‘normal’ Highland HB levels at the end of September (2 digit daily numbers).
    Of course there is a lot going on around these numbers. During the period restrictions were pretty much abolished. Many tourists in the Heilans are from urban areas of Scotland. They are not all from abroad. But the fact remains that daily cases in Highland HB from the beginning of this year ran at two digit numbers – usually 10+ to 40, but could also be single digit. It is only at the end of June/ early July that this changes.
    The Highlands are an interesting case, for its unusual for population to be dense – just during the summer. The change in the number of cases between winter and summer goes a long way, I would argue, to illustrate the effect of tourism.

    Liked by 5 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.