News

More destinations re-designated for quarantine

Published: 12 Nov 2020 18:51

Further updates to public health travel rules.

Travellers arriving in Scotland this weekend from Greece – except the islands of Crete, Corfu, Kos, Rhodes and Zante – as well as the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus, must quarantine on arrival for 14 days.

A significant increase in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in those areas as well as a rise in the numbers of cases testing positive, and the associated risk of importation into Scotland has led to the decisions to remove exemption status.

At the same time Bahrain, Cambodia, Chile, Iceland, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turks and Caicos Islands and Laos are being added to the list of destinations exempt from quarantine on arrival in Scotland.

All these changes take effect from 4am Saturday (14 November).

The current additional restrictions in relation to Denmark are to remain in place for a further 14 days, but will be reviewed should new information become available on progress by the Danish authorities to contain the outbreak.  

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

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

“Over the coming week we will be closely monitoring the situation in the Greek and Spanish islands, in particular the Canary Islands, as the number of cases there are giving cause for concern.

“The addition of nine destinations to the list of countries designated exempt from quarantine requirements, should not be taken as a signal that people should travel abroad.

“Our message remains clear that people should think very hard before committing to non-essential foreign travel as the public health situation, and therefore our response to it, can change rapidly.”

Background:

Enhanced border health measures were introduced around Denmark as a precautionary move to prevent the spread of a variant strain of the coronavirus associated with outbreaks in mink farms in Denmark.

The Home Office has implemented immigration powers meaning visitors arriving into the UK from Denmark will not be permitted entry into the UK.

All UK nationals or residents returning to the UK from Denmark to isolate for 14 days – as well as their household.

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 14 November.

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.