New travel rules Scotland – what are the changes to Covid travel restrictions?

More changes to the Covid travel rules in the UK have been introduced amid concerns surrounding the Omicron variant. 

Scientists are racing to understand more about the new variant originally identified in South Africa, with fears that it could be more transmissible than Delta. 

In order to try and curb the spread of Omicron, new travel rules have been imposed around the UK in a four nations approach. 

These rules apply to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland due to the four nations approach to international travel the governments have decided to take. 

Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to the UK from abroad…

Do I have to do a pre-departure test before flying to the UK?

From Tuesday December 7 at 4am, you will be required to take a pre-departure test before flying to the UK. 

This applies to everyone over the age of 12, whether you are fully vaccinated or not. 

You must take this test within 48-hours before your flight to the UK departs. 

Do I have to do a PCR test when I arrive in the UK?

Yes, if you are fully vaccinated you must take a PCR test within 48-hours of arriving in the UK. 

You must isolate until you receive the results of your test. 

If you are fully vaccinated and the test is negative, you can leave isolation. 

What are the travel rules for red listed countries? 

The following countries are currently on the red list: 

  • Angola
  • Malawi
  • Mozambique
  • Zambia 
  • South Africa
  • Botswana
  • Eswatini
  • Lesotho
  • Namibia
  • Nigeria
  • Zimbabwe

People travelling from red listed countries must take a PCR test prior to travel to the UK, isolate in a quarantine hotel when they arrive and take PCR tests on day 2 and day 8 of arrival. 

This applies to anyone travelling from red listed zones, whether vaccinated or not. 

What are the travel rules for people who are not fully vaccinated? 

If you are not fully vaccinated and travelling to the UK from a non-red listed country, you must: 

  • take a COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England (this reduced to 2 days from December 7 at 4am)
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 PCR tests – to be taken after arrival in England
  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 full days
  • take your COVID-19 PCR tests – you must book these tests before you travel

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