Can I travel abroad during tiered lockdown? Scotland’s guidelines for international holidays explained

Can you travel abroad during Scotland’s tiered lockdown?

As varying degrees of lockdown restrictions continue to grip the UK in its fight against Covid-19, rules and regulations on what people can and can’t do seem to be changing on an almost daily basis.

How do the latest restrictions affect travel, particularly international travel?

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Here is everything you need to know.

(Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images)

What are the international rules on travel?

The Scottish Government says that, to suppress the spread of Covid-19 it is essential that, with limited exceptions, there is “no travel to or from areas where higher numbers of people may be carrying the virus.”

While international travel to and from Scotland is not banned per se (as it is in England), travellers arriving from certain countries overseas may be required, by law, to quarantine by self-isolation for 14 days after arrival.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of Covid-19 risks.

(Photo: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

What if I need to travel abroad?

If you need to travel abroad, it is advised that you research and make sure you understand the public health requirements of your destination country.

Some countries require mandatory isolation periods to be completed upon arrival, while others may ask that you register a negative Covid-19 test result in the hours before your arrival.

Each country is different; visiting the FCDO’s Foreign Travel Advice page is a good place to start.

There are also restrictions on re-entering the UK from certain countries being imposed, which means travellers returning from these regions will need to self-isolate for 14 days upon their return.

The full list of countries from which you do NOT need to do this in Scotland, can be found here.

If you travel back from a country, which requires quarantine, to another part of the UK, but your final destination is Scotland, you must still follow the rules that are in place in Scotland.

When can I travel within Scotland?

If you live or work anywhere where there are protective measures in place – at whatever level – you should not travel to another area to avoid them.

If you live in a Level 3 local authority area you should:

- avoid any unnecessary travel out of the area

- if you have to travel for essential purposes, follow the guidance on travelling safely below

If you live in a Level 0, 1, or 2 area in Scotland, or are considering travel to Scotland from anywhere else, you should:

- minimise unnecessary journeys between areas in different levels

- and avoid any unnecessary travel to places in Level 3 or Level 4 areas

If you do need to travel, you should look to reduce the number of journeys if possible, and walk or cycle where possible. You should also plan ahead to avoid busy times and routes on public transport.