A Kinross man living in the Middle East has spoken of how being in a red listed country means another year unable to visit family back home.

And Steven Reid (38), based in Oman, believes three years will have passed before he gets to see relatives face to face again.

The head of a Muscat secondary school, Steven has attempted to take his wife Amina (35) and two kids Islah (7) and Laila (4), back to the UK last summer and this summer.

However, due to the current UK travel restrictions, only British or Irish nationals or those who have UK residency can travel to the UK from a red list country.

And for those allowed to enter they must self-isolate for 10 days in a managed quarantine hotel and take two coronavirus tests during that period.

Speaking to the PA, Steven revealed that hotel quarantine would cost around £4000 and that the restrictions imposed are taking its toll with his young children missing out on spending time with grandparents.

“We had booked last summer to go to France and Euro Disney and then hit Devon and Cornwall and then head back to Scotland to see family,” he said.

“Then it was looking more and more unlikely, then we were told Euro Disney was closed.

“We cancelled all that and thought we will come back to the UK and stay at my dad’s over the summer.

“But after they closed the border to Oman it was more likely that we could get in to the UK from Dubai.

“But the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now on the UK red list and we have been on lockdown for most of this year.

“It will cost around £4000 for a hotel when we go home and when we come back we would need to spend the same when in another country in order to get back in again.

“It is only once a year we get to see people in person and it is hard to take.

“As teachers we get a week off in October, two off at Christmas and a week off in February, but we get longer in the summer.

“We finish a couple weeks earlier than the UK but that is holidays we have lost during the school year.

“2019 was the last time we were home and then we will probably get home next in June 2022 - if it gets back to normal.

“That will have been three years since we were last home.”

Steven lived with wife Amina, a teacher in the maths department at the same school, in Manchester for 10 years, before heading off to teach in Dubai for five years and has spent the last 10 months in Muscat.

“I stay in touch with family but it is not the same as spending time with grandkids, and my youngest has just turned four,” he said. “It is tough for him to miss out on being with grandparents and spending time with cousins.

“It is good living in a foreign country but being happy, seeing family and being content with your life is the most important thing.

“My parents live in Kelty, my aunt is in Glenrothes, my wife is from Manchester and she has her family there. It’s a hard one as the summer is the only shot we have got.

“It is putting pressure not just on us, but on others who are in the same position.

“Everyone is deciding whether to suck it up and pay the money to go to a hotel or not.”

Steven says another risk is if someone were to contract the virus while visiting family back home.

“If you go and get COVID in the UK it would take another 10 days of quarantining,

“So you’d be spending about 10 grand all in all and we could spend most of it in isolation. It is a big gamble.

“Getting home to see family is a great break for everyone but there is a darkness hanging over the whole thing at the moment.

“It is just a chance of waiting to see what the situation is come next year.”