Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine

Planning foreign travel and information on testing for people entering Scotland.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine
Red list travel

Red list travel

The countries or territories on Scotland’s red list are:

  • Angola
  • Botswana 
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia 
  • South Africa 
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

If you have been in one of these countries or territories in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK, you can only enter the UK if you either:

  • are a British or Irish National
  • have residence rights in the UK

If you live in Scotland, you should not travel to any of the countries or territories on Scotland’s red list.

Isolating in a hotel

If you've been in a red list country in the 10 days before you arrive in Scotland, you’ll need to quarantine at a hotel in Scotland for 10 days (11 nights) as soon as you arrive. 

You must book the hotel you're going to isolate in before travelling to Scotland. You can only book your hotel through the quarantine hotel booking website. You cannot book a hotel through any other website.

You cannot choose which hotel you stay in. There are hotel rooms available for red list arrivals at Edinburgh Airport. Your booking package will include things like:

  • transfer to a hotel at Edinburgh Airport
  • meals, as well as fruit and soft drinks, delivered to your room - you'll have access to water, tea and coffee in your room
  • information on how to access NHS Scotland healthcare support during your stay
  • a day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 testing kit

Only a small number of people with certain jobs, or in need of essential medical treatment, are exempt from needing to isolate in a hotel after arriving from a red list country. 

Before you travel

You'll also need to:

While in Scotland, you must at all times follow the rules on COVID-19.

Testing while isolating in your hotel

While staying in your hotel, you'll need to take a day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR test. You can take your day 2 test on or before day 2, and your day 8 test on or after day 8. The first day of your 10 day stay is day 0.

Your tests will be delivered to you at your hotel.

If either of your PCR tests are positive for COVID-19, you may need to quarantine at your hotel for longer than 10 days.

The cost of isolating in a hotel

To isolate in a hotel, you'll need to pay:


Rate for bookings made on or after 12 August 2021

Rate for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights)


Additional rate for 1 adult (or child over 11)


Additional rate for a child aged 5 to 11



There is no charge for children under 5.

If you need to stay longer than 10 days because you return a positive COVID-19 test, or because you have been advised that you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you must book extra days through the CTM booking portal. There will be no charge for these extra days.

Getting help paying for your hotel quarantine or testing package

If you normally live in Scotland, you can get help paying for your hotel quarantine or testing package if you get one of these:

  • Universal Credit
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Working Tax Credit
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Pension Credit
  • Income-based Jobseekers Allowance (JSA)
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Carers Allowance
  • Council Tax reduction

When you apply, you’ll need to be able to provide proof that you get one of these. Proof can include things like an entitlement letter or a screenshot of a universal credit account.

You’ll also need to provide proof that you normally live in Scotland. You can use things like a driving licence, tenancy agreement, mortgage statement, council tax bill, bank statement or utility bill to do this.

If you do not get benefits, but feel you may be unable to pay for quarantine or testing package fees, you can be put on a repayment plan. 

How to apply for help with quarantine or testing package payments

You can apply by filling in the Managed quarantine and testing hardship application on the Pretravel website.

If you arrive in the UK on a Family Reunion Visa

If you arrive in the UK on a Family Reunion Visa, and you need to isolate in a hotel, you can get help paying for your stay.

To find out more, contact:

You’ll need a copy of your:

  • travel document
  • UK visa
  • flight details (if you have them) 
  • UK address  

Leaving the hotel for a funeral, or because a close family member/friend is dying

As long as you have not tested positive or do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you can request to leave the hotel you are isolating in to go to the funeral of a close family member or friend, or to visit a close family member or friend who is dying. If you need to request temporary leave from your hotel, contact:

Travelling to England from a red list country, before travelling on to Scotland

If you fly from abroad to an airport in England, and you have been in a red list country in the 10 days before your arrival, you must quarantine in a hotel in England. 

To get help booking hotels in England, use the quarantine hotel booking service

If you are travelling on to Scotland after isolating in a hotel for 10 days in England, you will not need to isolate for a second time in Scotland. 

Travelling to Wales, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, before travelling on to Scotland

If you’ve been in a red list country at any point in the 10 days before travelling to Scotland, you must book to isolate in a hotel in Scotland before you travel, and go straight to the hotel as soon as you arrive in Scotland.



Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

First published: 26 Nov 2021 Last updated: 30 Nov 2021 -