NEW COVID-19 GUIDANCE. See the latest advice on staying safe in Scotland this winter.

Bloodyfoot near Kinglassie on the Pilgrim Way © Fife Council / Damian Shields

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COVID-19 Guidance & Advice for Holidays in Scotland

Let us make it simple for you whether you're looking to explore this weekend or planning a holiday for later this year with our Covid-19 information and advice.

Last updated: 18 January 2022

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Updates

Omicron variant

The Scottish Government has recommended the following advice to minimise the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 and help keep everyone safe in Scotland this winter.

  • You should test regularly with free lateral flow tests.
  • You should not meet with more than three households indoors.
  • Wear your mask as required indoors and on public transport.

Current restrictions (in place until 23/01):

  • For indoor events there will be a standing limit of 100 and a seated limit of 200.
  • For outdoor events the limits for standing or seated will be 500 (to be lifted from Monday 17 January).
  • Physical distancing of 1 m will be required for events that go ahead with these limits.
  • Nightclubs are currently shut.
  • Table service only for hospitality businesses.
  • 1 m physical distancing, protective screens and other measures in place for all businesses.

Plan out your travel arrangements for visiting Scotland

The guidance for international travel is based on a non-red list or a red list for countries with high case numbers and variants of concern. 

Find out more about the traffic light system.

Visiting Scotland directly

If you are travelling directly from your own country, check below to see what your travel requirements will be.

UK & Ireland

  • England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey

A non-red country, which includes:

  • Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Switzerland, Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Maldives, Egypt, Turkey, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United States, China, India, Russia and United Arab Emirates.

A red country - there are currently no red countries.

See the full list of countries and their status.

Travelling through other countries before entering Scotland

The rules depend on where you have been for the 10 days before travelling to Scotland.

If you are visiting other parts of the UK before entering Scotland, and you have been there for 10 days or more, you will be able to travel into Scotland following the UK rules.

Even stopping at another country's airport counts as visiting, if you either left the plane or someone else got on the plane. You would need to follow the rules depending on which list that country is on.

Travelling from the UK & Ireland

England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey

Or have been in one of these countries for at least 10 days before visiting Scotland.

NO RESTRICTIONS

What you can do right now

Non-red countries

Countries include:

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic (Czechia), Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland,  Israel, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, United States.

See full list.

OVER 18 AND FULLY VACCINATED

Before you travel:

  • Make sure you obtain proof of your vaccination status.
  • Organise your on-arrival day 2 test, at least 72 hours before your trip. Find a Covid-19 travel test provider - from 09/01 this can be a rapid lateral flow test.
  • Fill in a passenger locator form, within the 48 hours before your trip.

When you arrive in Scotland:

  • Take your on-arrival test by day 2 of arrival in Scotland.

See the further information section for more detail on booking and taking tests and filling out your form.

OVER 18 AND NOT FULLY VACCINATED

Before you travel:

When you arrive in Scotland:

  • Quarantine on arrival in Scotland for 10 days.
  • Take your on-arrival PCR test by day 2 of arrival in Scotland.
  • Take your second on-arrival PCR test on day 8 or 9 of arrival in Scotland.
  • Receive your results, up to 48 hours after you take your test.
  • If the results are negative, your quarantine ends at 12.01am on day 11.

See the further information section for more detail on booking and taking tests and filling out your form.

UNDER 18

All children under 18 count as fully vaccinated.

  • Children aged 11 to 17 should take an on-arrival test by day 2 of arrival in Scotland.
  • Children under 11 do not need to take any tests.
  • Children under 18 only need to self-isolate if they have travelled from a red-list country.

RED COUNTRY

Before you travel:

  • Log into the CTM portal to book your managed quarantine hotel, and order your on-arrival PCR tests at least 72 hours before your trip.
  • Take your pre-departure test, no more than 48 hours before your trip.
  • Fill in a passenger locator form within the 48 hours before your trip.

When you arrive in Scotland:

  • Quarantine on arrival in Scotland in a managed hotel for 10 days.
  • Take your on-arrival PCR test by day 2 of arrival in Scotland.
  • Take your second on-arrival PCR test on day 8 or 9 of arrival in Scotland.
  • Receive your results, up to 48 hours after you take your test.
  • If the results are negative, your quarantine ends at 12.01am on day 11.

See the further information section for more detail on booking and taking tests and filling out your form.

What you can do right now

  • Masks are still worn indoors in public places and on public transport.
  • Food & drink businesses will still take your contact details for track and trace.
  • Travel restrictions may be introduced if required.
  • Late night venues (eg nightclubs) need you to show a COVID vaccine certificate on entry or proof of a negative COVID test (when open).
  • Events of more than 500 indoors or 4,000 outdoors (unseated) will also need you to show a COVID vaccine certificate or proof of a negative COVID test (when capacity allowed).
  • Everyone without symptoms is asked to take regular lateral flow tests, especially before mixing with other people.

There is currently guidance to not meet with more than three households socially, and nightclubs are closed.

There are no restrictions on:

  • Opening hours

Remember each business may have made adjustments for their staff and customers, so you may still find limits on capacity, adjusted timetables or opening hours, or other special circumstances.

Visiting the islands

Anyone visiting Scotland's islands is:

Planning your trip

How businesses are preparing for reopening

We've introduced a scheme - Good to Go - where businesses can sign up to complete a Covid-19 risk assessment. This is now part of the global Safe Travels scheme, so it's even more reassurance for our international visitors.

Find out more on Good to Go.

When you're here in Scotland

Top tips

  • Download the Protect Scotland app for free from the Apple and Google stores. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for coronavirus. It supports contact tracing and works through Bluetooth anonymously, protecting your privacy.
  • Wear a face covering on public transport, in shops, tourist attractions, cinemas and pubs, bars, restaurants and cafés, when not at your table.
  • Pay by contactless card - most businesses prefer not to take cash right now.
  • If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, you should immediately book a test through NHS Inform or if you can’t get online, phone 0800 028 2816.