Quarantine free travel marks a milestone for Scotland’s tourism industry and attractions sector

In a move which represents a much-needed boost for Scottish tourism, a significant relaxation of international travel measures was introduced today – Monday 2 August – when quarantine free travel to Scotland began for double vaccinated arrivals from the EU and the US.

The Scottish Government took the decision last week to change the rules on international travel following the announcement by UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps MP that measures for England were to be relaxed.

Subject to countries remaining on the amber travel list, travellers no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Scotland. The change, however, does not apply to people who have been in France in the 10 days prior to their arrival, due to concerns about the prevalence of the COVID-19 Beta variant.

Travellers need to show a negative test before departure and produce a negative PCR test result on day two after arrival. The requirement to take a further PCR test on day eight has been dropped. Those arriving are now required to show either the EU Digital COVID Certificate or the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s white card (known as a CDC card) to prove they are fully vaccinated.

Announcing the changes, Scottish Transport Secretary Michael Matheson MSP advised they have been made possible due to the success of the vaccination scheme in Scotland as well as the successful rollouts of vaccine programmes in the EU and US. He also urged people to continue to think carefully about travelling, given the prevalence and unpredictable nature of variants of concern.

Responding to the news of international travel measures being relaxed, ASVA CEO Gordon Morrison said:“The fact that fully vaccinated people from the EU and US can now travel to Scotland without quarantining is a significant development for Scottish tourism and visitor attractions. So many businesses depend heavily on the international market so hearing that overseas visitors can now start returning was welcome news. Recovery is, of course, still a very long way off for our sector but this is at least an important step in the right direction; it’s a positive move that will help businesses begin to rebuild from the disastrous economic impact of the pandemic.”

Further details on the new ruling for travellers can be found here.