Canary Islands designated for public health quarantine

Further updates to public health foreign travel rules.

Travellers arriving in Scotland this weekend from the Canary Islands must self-isolate  on arrival.

A significant increase in the proportion of cases testing positive in these islands, alongside a rise in the number of cases of coronavirus being identified, and the associated risk of importation into Scotland has led to the decisions to remove exemption status.

At the same Botswana and Saudi Arabia are being added to the list of destinations exempt from the current 14-day quarantine period on arrival in Scotland.

All these changes take effect from 4am Saturday (12 December).

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“Our first line of defence in managing the risk of imported cases from communities with high risks of transmission is imposing quarantine restrictions. The virus remains a significant challenge in Scotland and across the world and it is imperative that we disrupt the spread of it.

“While we are adding Botswana and Saudi Arabia to the list of countries where travellers are exempt from quarantine on arrival in Scotland, our message remains clear that people should think very hard before committing to any non-essential foreign travel. The public health situation, and therefore our response to it, can change rapidly.”


Public health rules for international travel are an important part of Scotland’s wider response to the pandemic to limit the introduction of new chains of transmission. To allow the appropriate arrangements to be put in place, following the laying of the regulations, the change will come into force at 4am on Saturday 12 December.

All international travellers arriving into Scotland, apart from a very limited number of individual exemptions, must complete a passenger locator form and provide evidence that they have done so on arrival in the UK if requested to do so by a Border Force official. This includes people arriving from countries where quarantine is subsequently not required. Failure to do so can also result in a fine since this, along with any failure to self-isolate where required, poses a significant risk to wider public health across Scotland.

Individuals who do not complete the form and present it when asked on arrival may be fined £60. The fine can be doubled for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £480.

Failure to comply with the requirement to quarantine may result in a fine of more than £480.

Those travelling abroad should check in advance for any local requirements to quarantine on arrival at their destination. Further information about the foreign travel public health rules, including quarantine requirements, can be read on the Scottish Government website. This includes the existing list of overseas destinations where those arriving in Scotland are exempt from self-isolation.


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