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

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Travelling to Scotland - COVID-19 Key Tourist Information

You'll find all the detailed information you need on pre-departure testing, self-isolation rules and any other steps you need to take for travelling to Scotland.

Find more information on:

Or visit our Covid-19 guidance & advice page for holidays in Scotland to see what guidance you need to follow for your country, and plan your trip.

Check the Scottish Government information on international travel for further details.

Fully vaccinated

For those who've had:

  • Oxford/AstraZeneca
  • Pfizer BioNTech
  • Moderna
  • Sionpharm Beijing
  • Sinovac
  • Covaxin

You must have had your second dose:

  • In the UK or a country with a vaccine programme accepted in the UK, such as the EU or US.
  • at least 14 days before you arrive in Scotland, counting from the day after your second dose.

Other notes:

  • If you've only had one dose, you should follow the rules of not being fully vaccinated.
  • Formulations of these vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, also count as approved vaccines.
  • You can also have received a mix of two different types of approved vaccines.
  • You can have received your two vaccinations under two different programmes, eg in Australia and Japan, the UK and USA.
  • You must provide an NHS COVID Pass, secure medical exemption certificate or Department of Health and Social Care confirmation letter if you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons in Scotland or England.

For those who've had:

  • Janssen vaccine

You must have had your single dose:

  • In the UK or a country with a vaccine programme accepted in the UK, such as the EU or US.
  • at least 14 days before you arrive in Scotland, counting from the day after your second dose.

For those who've had:

  • Other vaccines

Check whether your vaccine is approved in the UK.

If your vaccine is not approved, you should follow the rules for someone who is not fully vaccinated.

Children under 18

All children under 18 are counted as fully vaccinated. This applies:

  • Even if they haven't had a Covid-19 vaccine.
  • No matter what country or territory they normally live in.

Pre-departure testing

From 7 January, fully vaccinated people travelling to Scotland will no longer need to take pre-departure Covid tests.

Taking the test

  • Take the test no more than 48 hours before you travel to Scotland.
  • This can be a PCR or lateral flow test. 

Sharing the results

  • Your test result should be in English, French or Spanish.
  • You will need a paper copy of your negative test result, or the email/text message.
  • It should include your name, date of birth, age, result, date of test, name of company and name of test device.
  • Have it to hand when you board the plane, and when you arrive in Scotland.

Children

  • Children under 18 do not need to take a pre-departure test.

Find more information on the pre-departure test from the Scottish Government.

Passenger Locator Form (PLF)

Filling out the form

  • You must complete the passenger locator form online in the 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. 
  • Each adult must complete their own form, but you can include any children under 16 who are travelling with you and staying at the same UK address.
  • You must show the form when you check in to travel and board your transport to the UK.
  • Before you fill out the form, you'll need to have to hand:
    • Passport details of the travel document you'll show at the UK border.
    • Travel details, including times and dates.
    • The UK address you'll be staying at.
    • The Test Reference Number of your on-arrival tests (if required).
    • The invoice number for your quarantine hotel (if you need one).
  • Once the form is completed, you'll receive an email with a QR code. This can be printed out or shown on your phone as proof of completion.

Your information

  • The information you give will be used to contact you if someone you travelled with develops Covid-19 symptoms. It may also be used to check you are following quarantine rules.
  • Your details will be kept for 42 days and then deleted.
  • If any information changes after you've finished, you must complete a new form.

On-arrival tests within Scotland

  • This test can be taken on your day of arrival in Scotland (day 0), first full day (day 1), or the following day (day 2). 
  • You can buy a test from a Covid-19 travel test provider. If you are fully vaccinated, you can take either a rapid lateral flow or a PCR test.
  • Instructions may vary between different providers. Some providers might ask for a video recording of the self-swab, while others may request a photo of the test result to be uploaded via an app or the provider's website.
  • You should carefully read the private provider's terms and conditions before choosing the one most suitable to you.
  • If the result of the test is positive, please follow the current rules for self-isolating in Scotland.

If you're fully vaccinated

  • The requirement for you to take an on-arrival test will be removed on travel after 4am on 11 February.

If you're not fully vaccinated

  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you must take a PCR test.
  • You need to take a day 2 PCR test and a day 8 PCR test. (The requirement for a day 8 test will be removed at 4am on 11 February.)

Children

  • If your child is aged 11 to 17, from 9 January they can take either a PCR or a rapid lateral flow test. (From 4am on 11 February, they will not need to take a test.)
  • Children under 11 do not need to take this test.

Self-isolation

Visitors who are not fully vaccinated or travelling from a red-list country need to self-isolate for a 10 day quarantine. (This requirement will be removed at 4am on 11 February.)

The rules on self-isolation in Scotland are now based on someone being fully vaccinated with three doses of an approved vaccine. If you have had three doses, please see the rules on self-isolation in Scotland.

If you are identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19:

  • You will need to self-isolate for 10 days and book a PCR test.
  • You should complete your isolation, even if your PCR result is negative.

For children:

  • Under 5s do not need to self-isolate or take daily LFD tests, but it is recommended they are tested.
  • Those aged 5 to 17 can take daily LFD tests instead of self-isolating. This should be done for 7 days in a row, or until the end of the 10 days (whichever comes soonest).

If you do need to self-isolate as a close contact or you test positive on your day 2 or 8 tests, you will need to remain in your accommodation for 10 days.

Contact tracing:

  • If you see a call or text from the national number 0800 030 8012, please don't ignore it. Pick up the phone and help stop the infection spreading.
  • The contact tracer service operates between 8am and 8pm, 7 days a week.
  • Contact tracers can arrange an interpreter if you don't speak or understand English.
  • Please discuss this with your accommodation provider if you need to stay longer than originally intended, or find an alternative place to stay. If you change accommodation, you will need to fill out a new passenger locator form.
  • If you are not able to find anywhere to self-isolate, you can speak to the NHS Test and Protect team on 0800 030 8012. You can also speak to the National Assistance Helpline on 0800 111 4000.

Read all about self-isolation in Scotland.

Leaving Scotland

There are no specific rules on taking tests before leaving Scotland, but you should check the restrictions in the country you are travelling to - either your own or the next destination on your holiday.

Other advice

How is a country reviewed as non-red or red?

Decisions on countries/territories are taken by ministers who review risk assessments prepared by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. A country would be placed on the non-red list if presenting (with confidence) a low public health risk to the UK from all COVID-19 strains.