Arriving into Scotland
Arrivals from non-red list countries have different rules for testing and isolation which depends on vaccine status.
Further information on this process is available on the Scottish Government website international travel guidance.
You will be required to follow the rules that are in place when travelling to Scotland and these rules will depend on whether you are fully vaccinated or not.
Although there are currently no countries on the ‘red list’, you should not assume that this list will remain the same. The status of the “red list” is formally reviewed every 3 weeks, but if there is a sudden rise in cases of COVID-19, countries on this list can change at short notice so please ensure you check before travelling and follow the rules that apply.
Testing rules for travelling to Scotland
Over 18, fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries.
If you’ve not been in a country or territory that is on Scotland’s red list within 10 days of arriving in Scotland, and you’re fully vaccinated, you must:
- Complete a passenger locator form
- Take a COVID-19 test within 2 days of arriving in Scotland – you can use the CTM booking portal to book and pay £68 for an NHS COVID-19 PCR test, or you can buy a Day 2 PCR or Day 2 lateral flow test from a list of private providers
- Should you receive a positive result from a Day 2 lateral flow test, you must book a confirmatory PCR test immediately online or by telephoning 119. You should record this as having received a positive Day 2 lateral flow test in your reason
- Please note, if you are identified on your journey as having been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 (including as a flight contact) and you have taken a Day 2 lateral flow test, then you will need to isolate until you provide a negative result from a PCR test
Vaccine status and day 2 test
Before you travel you’ll need to make sure you have a record of your vaccination. You'll need to show this when you travel.
If you have been vaccinated in:
- Scotland: you can use the NHS Scotland Vaccine Status app or get a paper record of vaccination from NHS Inform
- An EU member state, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City: you can get proof of vaccination through the European Digital COVID certificate
- The US, and you normally live there: you'll need to take your CDC card when you travel and provide proof of your US address
You will not need to isolate unless:
- The result of the COVID-19 test you’ve taken on day 2 after arriving back in Scotland is positive
- NHS Scotland Test and Protect contact you to let you know that you need to isolate as you’ve travelled with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19
If you’ve been in a country or area on the red list in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you’ll need to follow the rules for red list countries.
What ‘fully vaccinated’ means
‘Fully vaccinated’ means that it's at least 14 days since you've had a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccine.
For approved 2 dose vaccines, this means it’s been at least 14 days since your second dose.
To count as fully vaccinated, you must also have been vaccinated in one of these countries or territories:
- the UK, including as part of a UK vaccine rollout overseas, with an NHS approved vaccine
- An EU member state - with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
- Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City - with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) or the Swiss vaccination programme
- The USA - with a vaccine authorised by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
- Australia, Albania, Angola, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bahrain, Belize, Bermuda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Eswatini, Georgia, Ghana, Gibraltar, Grenada, Guyana, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, Qatar, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, the Philippines,Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam – for all these countries and territories, you only count as fully vaccinated if you’ve been vaccinated with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines
You still count as fully vaccinated if you’ve had 2 doses:
- Of different approved vaccines, such as Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer BioNTech, or Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech
- 2 vaccinations under 2 different approved programmes, such as Australia and Japan, UK and USA or EU and Canada
- Of a formulation of a listed vaccine, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria or Moderna Takeda
You do not need to self-isolate if you’re taking part in formally approved COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials in the UK or the US.
Over 18, not fully vaccinated and travelling from non-red list countries
If you’ve not been in a red list country and you’re not fully vaccinated, you must:
- Complete a passenger locator form
- Take a COVID-19 test before travelling
- Book a day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 test – you can use the CTM booking portal to book and pay £136 for 2 NHS COVID-19 PCR tests, or you can buy the tests from a list of private providers
On arrival in Scotland you must:
If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must:
- Take a COVID-19 test before you arrive in Scotland
- Complete a Passenger Locator Form
- Buy a COVID-19 day 2 PCR test – after you arrive, you must take your COVID-19 day 2 PCR test on or before day 2 (the day you arrive is day 0)
- You do not need to isolate when you arrive.
- If you have a positive COVID-19 day 2 PCR test, you’ll need to follow the current rules for self-isolating in Scotland.
If you travel, you must follow the rules that are in place for a country or area at your time of travel. You should think carefully before booking holidays abroad. Travelling abroad carries a risk of bringing new cases and variants of COVID-19 into Scotland.
A small number of people who are not fully vaccinated, but are travelling as part of essential job roles, are exempt from isolating after arriving in Scotland. There are also a small number of exemptions around leaving isolation, including for medical treatment. Find out more about exemptions.
Red list countries
There are no countries on the red list. However, this may change at very short notice.
If you have been in a country or area on the red list at any point in the 10 days before arriving in Scotland, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if either:
- You are a British or Irish National
- You have the right to remain in the UK - this includes if you have a visa to work or study in the UK
- You’re travelling to the UK because you have a certain type of job or for essential medical treatment
Before travelling to Scotland from a red list country, you’ll need to:
- Complete a passenger locator form
- Take a COVID-19 test - children aged under 11 do not need to take this test
- Book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 PCR tests
On arrival in Scotland, you must quarantine in the hotel you’ve booked for 10 days. If you test positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, you may need to quarantine for longer.