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20/08/20 17:00

Foreign travel health rules extended

Quarantine measures for further countries.

A significant rise in the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and Trinidad and Tobago means travellers from these countries will have to self-isolate at home or another specified address for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from 4am this Saturday.

At the same time Portugal will be added to the list of destinations where travellers will be exempt from the requirement to quarantine.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We cannot emphasise enough that if people choose to travel abroad, they must be aware that quarantine requirements may change while they are away. The same can be said for the rules within the country or territory people are travelling to. If people do travel from any country that is not exempt from the requirements, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days on return, please check the Scottish Government website for more information on what this means.

“Indeed, wherever people have travelled from – an exempt country or not – they must complete a Passenger Locator Form and provide it to Border Force officials. Failure to do so can also result in a fine since this, along with any failure to self-isolate where required, poses a significant risk to wider public health across Scotland.”

“We continue to closely monitor the situation in all parts of the world and assess the scientific evidence. We remain in regular discussions with the other three governments in the UK and base decisions on a shared understanding of the available data. However, we will not hesitate to take the action we consider necessary to safeguard public health in Scotland recognising, that the level of risk across the four nations may lead to different decisions.

“As I have said previously, we do not make these decisions lightly, but suppressing the virus and protecting public health is vital.”

Background

Public health rules for international travel are an important part of Scotland’s wider response to the pandemic to limit the introduction of new chains of transmission.  With Scotland’s relatively low infection rate, importation of new cases from abroad remains a significant risk to public health.

To allow the appropriate arrangements to be put in place, following the laying of the regulations, these changes – both the reinstatement of countries requiring quarantine and the exemption for travellers from Portugal – will come into force at 4am on Saturday 22 August.

All international travellers arriving into Scotland, apart from a very limited number of individual exemptions, must complete a passenger locator form and provide evidence that they have done so on arrival in the UK if requested to do so by a Border Force official. This includes people arriving from countries where quarantine is subsequently not required. Individuals who do not complete the form and present it when asked on arrival may be fined £60. The fine can be doubled for each subsequent offence up to a maximum of £480.

Failure to comply with the requirement to quarantine may result in a fine of £480.

Those travelling abroad should check in advance for any local requirements to quarantine on arrival at their destination. The existing list of overseas destinations where those arriving in Scotland are exempt from self-isolation can be found on the Scottish Government website