Covid in Scotland: What do new restrictions mean for international travel?

NEW coronavirus restrictive measures have come into force in Scotland today which are intended on tackling the spread of the Omicron variant, and more are set to begin tomorrow.

Last week, Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the new rules when addressing the Scottish Parliament and outlined when and how they would come into play.

From 5am this morning (Boxing Day), restrictions on large-scale events were put in place which limit the number of people allowed to attend certain venues.

More restrictions such as the return of social distancing and table service in venues do not come into force until 5am tomorrow (December 27).

However, there have been no new restrictions imposed for International travel.

At the beginning of December, the Scottish Government announced that people arriving in the country from abroad will need to take pre-departure Covid tests to help stem the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

International travellers have to provide a negative pre-departure test taken two days before travelling, in addition to a negative PCR test on or before day two after arrival, under measures agreed on a four-nation basis across the UK.

What do I need to do when travelling internationally?

If you’re fully vaccinated, there are 4 things you must do before you arrive in Scotland:

1. Make sure that you’re able to prove you’re fully vaccinated

2. Take a COVID-19 test up to 2 days before you board a flight to Scotland

3. Book a COVID-19 day 2 test

4. Complete a Passenger Locator Form on

If you’re not fully vaccinated 

If you’re not fully vaccinated, you must:

On arrival in Scotland, you must:

Exemptions apply for different circumstances which can be found on the Scottish Government website.

Who is on Scotland’s travel red list?


There is no one currently on Scotland or the UK’s travel red list.  

All countries that were put back on the list in late November were removed by the UK Government on December 15 at 4am. Those countries were Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe


What countries have the UK on their travel red list?


Travel to countries is still possible, but certain countries have imposed restrictions for people travelling into their nation from the UK.


UK travellers are effectively be banned from France. Only French citizens or residents, and their families, or those travelling for essential business will be allowed in.



UK tourists are banned. Only German citizens or residents, and their partners and children, will be allowed entry. They will be required to:

show a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure

quarantine for two weeks on arrival. These rules apply regardless of vaccination status or recovery from COVID and are in place until at least 3rd January.



Travellers from the UK and other no-EU countries have to take pre-departure tests and provide a negative result 48-hours before departure. Unvaccinated arrivals must quarantine for five days then provide a negative result for release.

Italy has extended its state of emergency until the end of March, which gives the government greater powers to implement new laws at short notice.



Only fully vaccinated UK travellers are currently allowed into Spain.



All UK arrivals into Poland will have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of vaccination status.


The following list of countries have put a blanket ban on travel from the UK, with exemptions considered in exceptional circumstances:

  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • China
  • Hong Kong (21 day quarantine + 7 day monitoring)
  • Japan
  • Morrocco
  • South-Korea (14 day stay in quarantine hotel)


Rules can change quickly in different nations so please check official government advice before travelling.


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