Publication - Advice and guidance

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

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and managed isolation (quarantine)
Managed isolation: what you must do

Isolating in a hotel if you arrive in Scotland from a red list country

If you arrive in Scotland from a red list country, or have been in a red list country in the past 10 days, 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.

We have agreed rooms with a number of hotels in, or nearby, these cities:

  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Aberdeen

You cannot choose which hotel you stay in. We will arrange this for you. Your booking package will include things like:

  • transfer to a hotel as close as possible to the airport you arrived at
  • 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 small number of people are exempt from needing to book and isolate in a hotel after arriving from a red list country. These exemptions cover things like essential travel related to specific jobs or essential medical treatment.

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 COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8 of your 10 day stay. These tests will be delivered to you at your hotel.

If either of these 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 told 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

You may be able to get help paying for your hotel quarantine 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

To ask for help, you'll need to call +44 (0) 207 429 9732 or email If you're calling:

  • tell the call adviser which benefits or payments you currently get
  • the call advisor will agree a repayment plan with you - after you've agreed this repayment plan, it will be checked whether you're able to pay for your hotel quarantine 

Your repayment plan will be cancelled and the Scottish Government will pay the costs of your hotel quarantine, as long as:

  • it’s confirmed that you're not able to pay
  • your home address is in Scotland

​​​​A letter will be sent to you confirming what we've decided and whether you'll need to pay.

If you’re not being paid a low income benefit, but feel you may be unable to pay quarantine fees, you can ask to be put on a repayment plan. To find out more about repayment plans, call +44 (0) 207 429 9732 or email

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  

Previous positive test results

If you have recently tested positive for coronavirus and more than 10 days have passed since your positive test, you may be concerned that you will test positive pre-departure and this will prevent you from travelling.  Evidence of prior infection does not remove the requirement to provide a negative pre-departure test to travel to Scotland, or once in Scotland. This is to mitigate against the risk of re-infection with a different variant of coronavirus.

If you have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days, we would recommend that you select a lateral flow device (LFD) for pre-departure testing (if you are required to do so), as LFDs are significantly less likely to give persistent positives for someone who has tested positive within the previous 90 days. As above, LFDs  must meet the minimum standards of 97% specificity and 80% sensitivity.

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.

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

If you fly from abroad to an airport in England, you must quarantine in a hotel in England if you have travelled through a red list country during the 10 days before you arrive 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: 30 Apr 2021 Last updated: 15 Oct 2021 -