Nicola Sturgeon has said a traffic light system for international travel could be in place across Scotland and the UK in the summer.
The First Minister also suggested family visits overseas could be prioritised over holidays in an interview before voters hit the polls with the Daily Record.
The UK Government backs a traffic light system whereby foreign countries would be classed as green, amber or red depending on their progress in combating Covid.
Travellers to green countries would not need to isolate on their return, which would allow Scots a week in the sun.
While the SNP Government is more cautious and has concerns about holidaymakers becoming infected with new variants overseas, the First Minister offered her most optimistic assessment yet for new rules on international travel.
Ms Sturgeon’s preference is for a four-nations approach, but she said during the last leaders’ debate she would only back the “right” system.
Asked if she backed the principle of the traffic lights system, she said: “Yes, but with some scepticism and some concern that we have to be aware of the weaknesses in that.”
One of her concerns centres on the ability of overseas countries to “quickly” pick up the existence of variants.
She said: “In time, you would want to move to that, but you’ve just got to be cautious about the risks associated with it.”
She was also asked if a traffic light system was possible in the summer if any differences are ironed out with the UK Government: “It’s possible, yes, and then you have the questions of which countries get categorised into which colour in the traffic light system.”
She also said: “There is something there, I think, about if we have to make difficult choices about international travel, how we prioritise family visits over holidays. Now that wouldn’t be entirely straightforward to do.”