Publication - Advice and guidance

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine

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

Coronavirus (COVID-19): international travel and quarantine
Key facts

Key facts

From 0400 on Monday 18 January all country exemptions (sometimes referred to as Travel Corridors) will be suspended until further notice. Read the news release for more information.
From Tuesday 5 January, mainland Scotland has moved from Level 4 to a temporary Lockdown, with new guidance to stay at home except for essential purposes. Travel to or from Scotland without a reasonable excuse is not permitted. 
From 0400 on Monday 18 January 2021, passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must have a valid negative COVID-19 test result, taken no more than three days before the scheduled time of departure. This will be checked by operators, and passengers with a positive test result or an invalid certificate will be refused boarding. Read more about testing for people travelling to Scotland.
A new variant of Coronavirus has been discovered in Brazil. Additional travel restrictions have been introduced from 0400 on Friday 15 January 2021 for the whole of South America and a number of countries with transport links to Brazil. Please check the country exemptions page in this guidance for further information.


You must self-isolate for 10 full days if you arrive in Scotland from a country outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). This is to protect against the risk of imported cases of coronavirus.

Self-isolation rules apply to all travel to Scotland, by train, ferry, coach, air or any other route. It also applies regardless of how you have arrived in Scotland – directly or via another part of the UK. See: self-isolation guidance.

There is a list of exempt countries or territories. Travellers from these destinations are not required to self-isolate. This list is continuously reviewed and countries can be taken off or added at any time.

If your journey includes a transit stop through a non-exempt country, you will need to self-isolate if you interact with others in that country. For example, if your journey involves a transit through an airport or by exiting your vehicle on a ferry in a non-exempt country, you will need to self-isolate.

There is also a small list of sector exemptions where self-isolation is not required. This exemptions list is also under regular review.

Passenger locator form

All passengers must complete an online passenger locator form before travelling, and provide contact details, travel details and the address of their final destination. 

The information you provide on this form will be used for two purposes:

  • to allow contact tracers to get in touch with you quickly if required
  • so we can highlight guidance, including the need to self-isolate

This is to protect your health and the health of others in Scotland.

If you do not complete the passenger locator form or fail to comply with the requirement to self-isolate you are breaking the law, and could be fined. The two sets of offences will carry with them maximum fines upon conviction of up to level 5 on the standard scale (£5000). The ability to prosecute in court is the most severe form of enforcement and is in place to be able to deal with very serious committal of the offences.

More importantly, failure to comply means you are risking both your own health and the health of other people.

Find out more

More information on these measures is contained within this guidance. Read more general coronavirus in Scotland guidance and also visit the NHSinform website.

You should be aware that there are currently travel restrictions in place across Scotland, the UK and the Common Travel Area. Read more about these travel restrictions

First published: 14 Jan 2021 Last updated: 18 Jan 2021 -