Bosses at a north-east airport have questioned a Scottish Government decision to place quarantine restrictions on people arriving from three countries.
The decision was taken by Scottish Government ministers in the wake of concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 cases in these countries.
But they are facing a backlash from chiefs at Aberdeen International Airport’s parent company over the call.
AGS Airports – which also operates Glasgow and Southampton airports – has been at the centre of repeated calls for more testing of passengers arriving in the country, which it says would remove the need for all arrivals from some countries to quarantine.
The company slammed the “ineffective” regulations over their impact on the aviation industry.
A spokesman said: “The blanket quarantine measures are not only ineffective, they have delivered a hammer blow to the aviation, tourism and hospitality industries.
“There is a better and safer way of managing this and it’s through testing which would allow us to safely re-establish routes, protect public health and deliver passenger and airline confidence.”
Flights normally operate between Aberdeen and the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Esbjerg – although those are currently suspended because of the pandemic.
Denmark was added to the quarantine list just minutes before the rules came into effect following an outbreak affecting mink farms in the country.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald echoed the airport’s calls, urging the Scottish Government to explore mass testing as a way of controlling the virus.
He said: “Aberdeen Airport is vital to the economic health of the north-east, so SNP Ministers have to start to listen to what they have to say.
“The only way to bring Covid-19 under control is routine testing of the whole population, which is currently being piloted in Liverpool. In the meantime, the Scottish Government could make a real difference by testing airline passengers on arrival, and again a few days later. That would allow planes to keep flying, and people coming into the country to go into quarantine for a shorter period of time.”
At her daily Covid-19 briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “Health authorities in Denmark have reported cases in humans of a variant strain of the virus associated with outbreaks in mink farms.
“We’ve taken this decision on a precautionary basis but it is important that we do so.
The UK Government announced a similar move late on Thursday.
She added: “The Danish authorities are working very hard to contain this situation but of course we will continue to consider whether there is a need for any further protections.
“The UK chief medical officers will consider updated information later today to assess whether any additional action beyond quarantine may be required.”
Scotland’s chief medical officer Gregor Smith said: “The chief medical officers are clear that action is required to safeguard public health.
“If anyone has any concerns, as in any case, whether or not they have travelled from Denmark, they should follow the guidance laid out by Scottish Government and if needed contact NHS 24.”