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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 06/01/2022

From 4am on Friday 7 January people travelling to Scotland from abroad, who are fully vaccinated or under the age of 18, will no longer need to take pre-departure COVID-19 tests. They will also no longer be required to self isolate on arrival until they've received a negative result.

Travellers in this group will 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 Sunday 9 January.

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 three devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Pre-departure COVID-19 tests, the requirement to self-isolate and mandatory PCR tests were re-introduced in December to help stem the spread of the Omicron variant, but are now seen as less necessary because Omicron is now the dominant strain in the UK.

In addition, Ministers have agreed to approve vaccine certificates for a further 16 countries and territories from 4am on 10 January to allow quarantine-free travel to Scotland. The red list of highest risk countries will remain unchanged with no countries currently on the list.

All four nations are also discussing what the requirements should be for border travel in the future.

Given the rapid spread of Omicron in 2021 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.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson