Coronavirus / Covid-19 situation in Scotland

Update 25 January 2022

Please note this following information applies to Scotland. The situation is different in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

From August 2021, the majority of Covid restrictions in Scotland were lifted. Additional measures resumed in December 2021 due to the spread of the Omicron variant but most of these were lifted on 24 January 2022. Testing before mixing with others using a lateral flow test is recommended. Please note - mask wearing in shops, bars, restaurants, indoor attractions and public transport remains in place for the foreseeable future.

Travel is permitted between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

FAQs

Accommodation
Tourist accommodation is operating normally.

Scottish Islands
To protect our island communities, all visitors are encouraged to take a Covid test before travelling to any Scottish islands. Free tests can be ordered for delivery to anyone in the UK. The Scottish Government recommends that people test 3 days before they plan to travel and then again on the day of departure. This is a voluntary scheme and visitors will not need evidence of a negative test to travel to a Scottish island. For more information on voluntary testing please click here.

Face coverings in Scotland
It is mandatory to wear a face covering in shops, banks and other enclosed areas such as museums, indoor tourist attractions, cinemas and places of worship.
It is also mandatory to wear a face covering inside bars/restaurants when you are not seated (e.g. when entering/leaving the premises or going to the toilet).
Exemptions apply for children under 12 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons.
You are also required to wear a face covering on public transport (see below).

Public transport
Please note that it is mandatory to wear a face covering on all public transport (including public areas of bus/train stations and airports) and in taxis. Exemptions apply for children under 12 and for those for whom a covering is inappropriate due to health reasons (see full guidance).
Advance booking of trains and ferries is recommended.

Pubs, cafes and restaurants
All hospitality venues are allowed to open indoors and outdoors. Face covering must be worn inside when you are not seated. Venues are obliged to collect the contact details of customers to help with Test and Protect.
So-called Covid passports are required for entry to certain late night premises with music, alcohol and dancing (see full details). A recent negative lateral flow test is an alternative to proof of vaccination.

Arriving into the UK from abroad
If arrriving into the UK from a designated Red list country - you are required to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for 10 days. You must also take a PCR test on days 2 and 8 after arrival. As of 15 December 2021, no countries are on the Red list.
For adults (over 18) who have not been in a Red list country within 10 days of arriving in Scotland:

  • if you are fully vaccinated - you must show proof of vaccination status, and pay for a COVID-19 test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland.
  • if you are not fully vaccinated - you must take a COVID-19 test before travelling, self-isolate for 10 days, take a COVID-19 PCR test on/before day 2 and on/after day 8 of your 10 day isolation.

All arrivals must also complete a passenger locator form.

The rules will change on 11th February 2022 as follows:

  • if you are fully vaccinated - you no longer need to take any tests if you can show proof of your vaccination status.
  • if you are not fully vaccinated - you must take a COVID-19 test before travelling and take a COVID-19 PCR test on/before day 2.

See the latest Scottish Government Covid travel information for the full details for each scenario and the rules for children.
For additional info, see the VisitScotland Travel to Scotland FAQ.

VisitScotland has a handy list which summarises the current situation and regulations in Scotland.

Tourist attractions
Some tourist attractions may still require pre-booking so that visitor numbers can be well managed. Please check before travelling. You will be asked to wear a face covering when inside.

Events
Please check with individual event operators before planning to travel to any events.
From 18 October 2021, Scotland has a legal requirement for people to provide a Covid vaccine certificate (also called a Covid passport) for entry to nightclubs and certain big events (see full details). From 6 December 2021, the rules were updated to allow people to present with a recent negative lateral flow test as an alternative to proof of vaccination.
However, there are currently limits on organised events which are expected to continue until at least 24 January 2022:
100 people at indoor standing events
200 people at indoor seating events

Good to Go, Scotland Look for the 'Good to Go' logo for businesses which are Covid Prepared. This is the official UK mark to signal that a tourism and hospitality business has worked hard to follow Government and industry COVID-19 guidelines and has a process in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.

Testing
For medical advice if you are experiencing any symptoms of Coronavirus, please consult the NHS website. Scotland is now operating a 'Test and Protect' strategy.
The Protect Scotland app is available to download for free via Apple and Google stores.

Please note that this information is different to the situation in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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