News

Further quarantine measures introduced for travellers

Published: 10 Sep 2020 17:35

Quarantine required for Hungary and La Réunion travel, while Sweden added to exemption list.

Travellers from Hungary and La Réunion will be required to self-isolate at home or another specified address for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from 4am on Saturday morning (12 September).

This is due to a significant rise in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these locations, and the associated risk of importation into Scotland by people who have arrived from them.

Sweden will be added to the exemption list, meaning those travelling to Scotland from Sweden will no longer be required to quarantine from 4am on Saturday morning (12 September).

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We are in the midst of a global pandemic and the situation in many countries can change suddenly. So people should think very hard before deciding to travel abroad unless it is really necessary.

“Despite the increase in cases in Scotland, the infection rate here is still relatively low and any importation of new cases is a significant risk to public health. I would also encourage people who have returned to Scotland from Hungary or La Réunion in the last few days to be particularly careful in their social contacts and to ensure they stick to the FACTS.

“Regular discussions continue with the other three governments in the UK. We continue to closely monitor the situation in all parts of the world and base the decisions we make on the scientific evidence available.

“It is a legal requirement to complete a Passenger Locator Form and provide it to Border Force, wherever you have travelled from. The requirement for travellers to quarantine for 14 days on arrival from a non-exempt country is vital to help prevent transmission of the virus and to suppress it – not doing so poses a significant risk to wider public health across Scotland.”

The Scottish Government has carefully examined the scope of applying measures, such as regional targeting, but considers that a whole country approach is still required at the moment. While regional variations in the pattern of cases and level of risk can sometimes be identified in different countries, the Scottish Government remains concerned at the risk arising from travel between different parts of a country in the absence of strong evidence of clear controls in place to limit this. The Scottish Government will continue to explore the scope for distinguishing between regions but for the moment a whole country approach will be applied in the interests of safeguarding public health in Scotland.   

Background

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 changes will come into force at 4am on Saturday 12 September.

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 not required. 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.