New rules requiring travellers arriving in Scotland to have a negative coronavirus test have been delayed until Monday.
The requirement for passengers arriving in the country by boat, train or plane – including UK nationals – to test negative for Covid up to 72 hours before leaving the country of departure was due to come into force at 4am on Friday.
But the Scottish Government says it has been pushed back until the same time on Monday after the UK Government announced it is delaying the implementation of pre-departure testing “to give international arrivals time to prepare”.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The UK announced overnight that they would be delaying the implementation of pre-departure testing until Monday morning, saying this would allow international arrivals and international passengers time to prepare.
“This meant Scotland was also obliged to delay implementation as we need sight of their final regulations in order to properly draft and approve the relevant Scottish regulations.”
Downing Street defended the delay, with the Prime Minister’s spokesman saying the testing law would come into place on Friday as planned but that a “grace period” would allow passengers “a little bit more time” to get the tests required.
Travellers will need to present proof of a negative test result to their carrier on boarding, while the UK Border Force will conduct spot checks on arrivals.
New arrivals who flout the rules will face a minimum £500 fine, while the operator who transported them will also be fined.
Passengers will still have to quarantine for 10 days regardless of their test results.
Travellers will have to take an internationally approved test, and guidance released by the Department for Transport said they could include PCR tests, nasal and throat swab tests which take between 12 and 24 hours to return results.