Changes to travel restrictions following new COVID-19 variant.
Following identification of a new variant of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brazil, the Scottish Government will impose additional restrictions on arrivals.
From 04:00 on Monday, all country exemptions from self-isolation after international travel will be suspended.
Passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area will be required to isolate for ten days on return. They must also have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure.
Most people from outside the CTA who meet the limited criteria to travel to Scotland will still require to undertake pre-departure tests and must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure. This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or an invalid certificate will be refused boarding.
It remains the case that travel to or from Scotland without a reasonable excuse is not permitted.
Limited exemptions for essential purposes will be maintained, but the list of sectoral exemptions to the restrictions will be tightened.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said:
“International travel has played a key role in previous waves of coronavirus and is a significant risk to our efforts to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level. The emergence of these new variants mean we must think carefully about restrictions on travel.
“It is crucial we take the right steps to prevent importing new strains that can increase transmission or undermine the vaccine in Scotland.
"Travel into or out of Scotland is currently illegal and that will remain the case while we work to suppress the new strain of COVID-19. It remains the case that any travel must be for an essential reason.
"Everyone must stay at home as much as possible to minimise the risk of catching or spreading the virus.”
Further information about the foreign travel public health rules, pre-departure testing 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.
The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland.