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 will change, but we are certain that this will not be possible before 17 May and maybe for some time after.

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

Mainland Scotland and some islands are in lockdown. You must stay at home and not travel unless you have an essential reason to do so. See guidance on travel


First published: 14 Feb 2021 Last updated: 21 Apr 2021 -