Final 11 countries on international travel red list to be removed

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said that the travel changes will be kept under review.

Final 11 countries on international travel red list to be removed iStock

The final 11 countries on the international travel red list are to be removed, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

From 4am on Wednesday, December 15, Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe will be removed.

It means that passengers returning to Scotland will not have to stay in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival.

Pre-departure tests and PCR testing measures on or before day two on arrival in Scotland will remain in place.

The Scottish Government has indicated there will be a review of all travel measures in the New Year.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson explained that the changes will be kept under review.

He said: “The red list restrictions were proportionate as an immediate response to limit importation of the new variant.

“But the rapid growth of Omicron across the world, including here in Scotland, means it is appropriate at this point to remove the red list restrictions.

“The swift decisive action we implemented was vital to delay further seeding of Omicron while we roll out the booster jag programme.

“This action was not taken lightly, with the risk to the public guiding our actions, and we recognise the disruption this has caused to the travel and aviation sector.

“These latest changes will be kept under review with a testing regime in place to safeguard the wider public health.”