COVID-19. Find the latest information on travel, and Good to Go (Covid-safe) businesses.

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: 20 September 2021

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Please note this page is also available in French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish - please use the language selector at the top right to change your preference.

Plan out your travel arrangements for visiting Scotland

From 4 October the traffic light system for international travel is changing. From 4 October, there will be no green or amber country lists, however, a red list will remain for countries with high case numbers and variants of concern.

From 4am on Wednesday 22 September, Turkey, Malta, and the Maldives, among other countries, will be removed from the red list.

The current amber-level restrictions will become the default for travellers from non-red countries.

Find out more about the new traffic light system.

Visiting Scotland directly

If you are travelling directly from your own country, check below whether it is on the green, amber and red list and follow the rules set out.

UK & Ireland

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

A green country, which includes:

  • Australia, Austria, Germany, Israel, New Zealand and Norway (Canada, Denmark, Finland and Switzerland from 4am on 30 August)

An amber country, which also has adjusted rules for vaccinated travellers, which includes:

  • Belgium, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United States.

Other amber countries, which includes:

  • China, India, Russia and United Arab Emirates.

A red country, which includes:

  • Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan and Turkey.

See the full list of green, amber and red countries.

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 touring, for example 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.
Visiting Scotland via England?

If you're spending your first night in England before travelling onto Scotland, you can choose to take either the NHS Test booked through the CTM portal, or a private test.

Within the CTM portal, choose 'other' as your arrival port.

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

GREEN COUNTRY

Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Israel, Latvia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia and Switzerland.

See full green list.

Before you travel:

When you arrive in Scotland:

  • Take your on-arrival PCR 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.

AMBER COUNTRY

Europe or US AND FULLY VACCINATED*

Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic (Czechia), France, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United States.

See full amber list.

Before you travel:

When you arrive in Scotland:

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

*This exception applies to:

  • UK (including as part of UK vaccine rollout overseas)
  • EU member states
  • European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland)
  • Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and Vatican City
  • USA

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

OTHER AMBER COUNTRY OR NOT FULLY VACCINATED

China, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates.

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.

RED COUNTRY

Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Maldives, Mexico, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey

See full red list.

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 72 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.
  • Events of more than 2,000 indoors or 5,000 outdoors will need to apply for permission.

There are no restrictions on:

  • What businesses can open
  • Opening hours
  • Group numbers indoors and outdoors
  • Physical distancing

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.