News

United Arab Emirates designated for public health quarantine

Published: 11 Jan 2021 21:14

Travellers returning to self-isolate on arrival in Scotland.

Following the move to require travellers Dubai from to quarantine on arrival, Ministers have agreed on the basis of advice today from the Joint Biosecurity Centre to remove the United Arab Emirates in its entirety from the international travel exemptions list.

Travellers returning from the UAE must quarantine on arrival in Scotland for 10 days from 4am on Tuesday (12 January).

This change is preventative action and addresses the significant rise in cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), and the increase in the numbers of cases testing positive in Scotland.

Guidance remains clear that people should not be undertaking foreign travel other than in exceptional circumstances.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said:

“It is evident, both in Scotland and in countries across the world, that the virus continues to pose real risks to health and to life and we need to interrupt the rise in cases.

“Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving in the UK is our first defence in managing the risk of imported cases from communities with high risks of transmission. That is why we have made the decision to remove UAE from the country exemptions list.

“The evidence from Test and Protect of cases originating from Dubai caused us real concern over the weekend, and we took targeted emergency action to require travellers to isolate.

“The Joint Biosecurity Centre has now completed an urgent risk assessment for the United Arab Emirates as a whole, and based on this this new assessment we are extending our restriction to remove UAE from the country exemption list.

“Whether or not an overseas destination has been designated for quarantine restrictions, our message remains clear that people should not currently be undertaking non-essential foreign travel. People need to stay at home to help suppress the virus, protect our NHS and save lives.”
 
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. 

Following the laying of the regulations, the change will come into force at 4am on Tuesday 12 January.

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.