COVID-19 testing for travellers entering and leaving Scotland: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

"What clinical or other evidence has been used to deny Scots the Test and Release system as used in England and indeed internationally recognised as an appropriate C19 control measure?"


Our decisions on testing and quarantine throughout this pandemic have been informed by clinical and scientific advice to minimise the risk to public health. At this stage, we have no plans to introduce Test to Release, but we are observing the rollout of the scheme in England closely. We will consider whether a similar approach could be introduced in Scotland when it is safe to do so.

This is because the Scottish Government is not yet satisfied that moving from quarantine to testing would provide sufficient protection. Clinicians feel that, given the incubation period of the virus, selfisolation is the safest approach. All passengers travelling to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must therefore isolate for ten days on return.

Although the Test to Release scheme does not apply to Scotland, there is still a requirement for predeparture testing for anybody travelling to Scotland from overseas. Anyone travelling into Scotland will need to present evidence that they have received a negative result, from a COVID-19 test taken in the previous three days. Tests do not replace existing quarantine requirements, they are in addition to quarantine requirements.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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