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06/08/20 19:57

Quarantine rules change for five countries

Update to foreign travel public health requirements.

Passengers from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas will be required to self-isolate at home or another specified address for 14 days on arrival in Scotland from Saturday, following a significant increase in the number of cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in those countries.

The decision has also been made by the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland and Wales as well as the UK Government – with agreement by the four nations also to add two countries, Brunei and Malaysia, to the list of destinations where travellers are exempt from the requirement to quarantine.

The regulations requiring passengers arriving from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas to quarantine will come into effect in Scotland from Saturday 8 August. The change exempting those arriving from Brunei and Malaysia from quarantine requirements will come into effect from 4 am on Tuesday 11 August.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“The governments of all four nations have agreed to these changes based on a shared understanding of the data.  This is another important step in our efforts to prevent the spread of the virus and adhering to the quarantine is a vital aspect of this.

“Imposing quarantine requirements on those arriving from another country is not a decision made lightly – but suppressing the virus and protecting public health remains our priority.”

Background

In order to allow the appropriate arrangements to be put in place, following the laying of the regulations, these changes will come into force 4am Saturday for those travelling from Belgium, Andorra and the Bahamas.

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.

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 requirement to quarantine may result in a fine of £480.

Those travelling abroad should check in advance if there are any requirements to quarantine on arrival at their destination.

The existing list of overseas destination  where  those arriving in Scotland are exempt from self-isolation can be found online.