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Scotland Updates Rules For International Arrivals

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Travel rules are changing in Scotland starting next month.

The country will amend the travel traffic light system that’s been in place for months, and eligible international arrivals will still have to undergo pre-departure and arrival tests for travel. Many of the updates will go into effect from October 4th.

View down the historic Royal Mile, Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland's Travel Traffic Light System To Be Amended

Among the details for the update travel rules, eight nations will be removed from the red list of countries considered to have a significant number of Covid cases and/or variants of concern. In addition, the green and amber categories will be combined.

The current guidance for arrivals from the amber list will apply to both green and amber level countries once these new changes go into effect. This means that some fully vaccinated travelers will be able to visit Scotland without quarantine, but testing rules will apply.

The Glencoe pass on a misty day site of the historic massacre.

All travelers from green and amber list countries will be required to complete a passenger locator form, take a pre-departure Covid test and take a PCR test two days after arriving in Scotland.

Countries to be removed from the red list as of September 22nd include: Egypt, Turkey, Maldives, Pakistan, Kenya, Oman, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

The current traffic light system will expire on October 4th, and the new changes will be put in place. You can see more details here on Scotland’s official government website.

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK - August 24, 2020: View of typical pub or restaurant in the center of Edinburgh. People gathering to eat out in the evening

Guidance For Travelers From Red List Countries Will Remain In Place

The restrictions for travelers from red list countries will not change under these new rules. Only British or Irish Nationals, eligible UK residents and certain essential workers can currently travel to Scotland if they’ve been in a red-list country over the past 10 days.

Those travelers allowed to enter Scotland will have to complete a passenger locator form, take a pre-departure Covid test and book a hotel to quarantine in for 10 days upon arrival. The traveler must also book two Covid PCR tests to take after arriving in the country.

Long horned red-haired Highland cow with her two calves on the moor. Highland cattle, or hairy coos, are a distinctive pedigree breed with long, thick flowing hair and sweeping horns that date from 1884 that thrive in difficult climates and conditions, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK, Europe

Scotland Sets Itself Apart From Britain’s Updated Travel Rules For International Visitors

Scotland’s traffic light system update follows Britain’s announcement last week that the country will begin to ease travel restrictions for international arrivals starting October 4th. Under the UK system, individual authorities can set their own travel rules. While the changes in England and Scotland’s travel rules will come at the same time, the details are a little different.

England Peak District

Pre-Departure Tests Will Be Required For Travel

While England’s new travel rules remove the requirement for a pre-departure PCR test, it will still be necessary for travelers to show proof of a negative Covid test result before their flight to Scotland. However, travelers can choose from a list of private sector test providers.

Children under 11 years are currently not required to take a pre-departure Covid test or on arrival test for travel to Scotland. You can see the list here.

More Countries Will Be Added To List Of Eligible Countries For Travel

Under the current guidance, only fully vaccinated travelers from the UK, the EU/EFTA and the United States are allowed to travel to Scotland. The list of countries where vaccines certificates will be recognized is set to expand, which will allow travelers from countries such as Canada and Australia to visit Scotland without any quarantine required.

Here’s the full list of countries added to the eligible vaccinated traveler policy, starting October 4th, 2021:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Taiwan
  • Dominica
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Qatar

For the full list of non-red list countries, check out the official Scotland government website.

new zealand coast mountains

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