Vaccinated travellers no longer need to isolate upon arrival in Scotland

The requirement to take a pre-departure test also comes to an end from the early hours of Friday morning.

Vaccinated travellers no longer need to isolate upon arrival in Scotland Getty Images
The change in travel rules comes into effect at 4am on Friday morning.

Fully-vaccinated travellers returning to Scotland from abroad will no longer have to take pre-departure Covid tests or self-isolate upon arrival until they have received a negative result.

The change in rules, which also applies to people under the age of 18, comes into effect at 4am on Friday morning.

Travellers will, however, still need to take a test on or before day two after arriving in the UK, which can be a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test from this Sunday.

Anyone who tests positive on their lateral flow test will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.

The new measures apply across the UK after agreement between the UK Government and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “Given the rapid spread of Omicron last year it was essential that we took immediate steps to protect public health in Scotland, particularly with regards to international travel.

“We still have significant concerns over Omicron, but we recognise that, now it is the most dominant strain in Scotland and across the UK, it is sensible to review the measures currently in place.

“We also fully understand the impact of the restrictions on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors and these changes demonstrate our commitment not to keep measures in place any longer than necessary.

“However, people still need to be extremely careful when travelling and to remember that both our and other countries’ Covid-19 requirements can change at short notice as things can evolve very quickly.

“People should therefore ensure they have travel insurance and carefully check their booking terms and conditions, as well as ensuring compliance with the latest regulations for the country being visited.”

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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 has become the dominant strain in the UK.

Furthermore, Scottish ministers have aproved vaccine certificates for a further 16 countries and territories from 4am on January 10 to allow quarantine-free travel to Scotland.

These are Bhutan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Fiji, Iraq and Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Palau, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, The Gambia, Uzbekistan, as well as North Cyprus and Papua New Guinea.

The red list of highest risk countries will remain unchanged with no countries currently on the list.