Covid tests axed for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Scotland

Passengers won't need to take a post-arrival lateral flow test from 4am on February 11.

Covid tests axed for fully vaccinated travellers arriving in Scotland SNS Group
Travel: Covid tests being scrapped for fully-vaccinated arrivals.

Fully-vaccinated passengers arriving in Scotland will no longer have to take a post-arrival lateral flow test.

The Scottish Government said the new rule would apply from 4am on February 11.

At present, travellers still need to take a test on or before day two after arriving in Scotland, which can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test.

But that requirement is now being dropped in a further easing of travel rules, just weeks after it was announced that passengers no longer had to take pre-departure Covid tests or self-isolate upon arrival until they had received a negative result.

The Scottish Government said testing will no longer be a requirement for all adults who have completed a full course of an approved vaccine, usually at least two doses. 

Children under the age of 18 continue to be treated as fully-vaccinated. Travellers will still need to fill in passenger locator forms and the requirement to wear face coverings at Scottish airports remains in place.

Non-vaccinated travellers will still be required to take pre-departure tests and a PCR test on or before day two – but the requirement for isolation will end and they will no longer have to take a day eight test.

The measures were agreed by the Scottish Government following engagement with all four UK nations.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “These measures will significantly open up international travel and were agreed on a UK wide basis.

“The measures will be extremely welcome for the Scottish tourism and aviation sectors, encouraging travel from our airports.

“While this is a positive step which will be welcomed by many we believe further surveillance measures will be necessary across all nations – as intelligence will help in terms of variants of concern. It was agreed further work to take this forward will be carried out over the coming weeks.”

Pre-departure Covid tests, the requirement to self-isolate and mandatory PCR tests were re-introduced in December to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant.

The Scottish Government says those rules are now seen as less necessary because Omicron is now the dominant strain in the UK.