Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation (quarantine)

Quarantine rules and information on the process for people entering Scotland.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation (quarantine)


This guide is for people returning to or arriving in Scotland and includes information about how to quarantine (either in managed self-isolation or when self-isolating at your accommodation).

Under current COVID-19 restrictions, it is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.

This guidance will change on 17 May 2021. Read more about the changes we will introduce at: Red, amber and green list countries.

If you’re travelling directly to Scotland on or after 17 May, do not submit your passenger locator form before 9pm (BST) on 16 May.

Going abroad

You can only travel abroad if you have an essential reason to do so. You must not travel abroad on holiday.

Essential reasons to travel abroad include things like travelling abroad for certain types of work.

Even if you have an essential reason to travel, you should still avoid travelling if possible.

Guidance for British people travelling abroad - if legally permitted - is at

Travelling to Scotland from abroad

You should only travel to Scotland if you have an essential reason to do so. At the moment, holidays are not a legal reason to travel.

If you do have an essential reason to travel from abroad, it is likely you will need to isolate in a hotel or at home in Scotland for at least 10 days after you arrive. What you need to do depends on whether your journey is directly to Scotland or not. 

The situation is evolving worldwide, so it is important that you check all guidance before you travel.

Travel within Scotland and to other parts of the UK

Scotland uses a protection levels system to determine what you can do in each area. See guidance on travel

Changes from 17 May

This guidance will change from 17 May





Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

First published: 30 Apr 2021 Last updated: 12 May 2021 -