• Kenneth Gibson MSP

International Travel Restrictions end on Friday 18 March


Following agreement reached at a cross-UK meeting, all international travel restrictions for people coming to Scotland are to end.


Meanwhile, the First Minister has confirmed that legal requirements to wear face coverings on public transport and most indoor public settings will continue until at least early April, given the current spike in COVID case numbers.


All travellers will no longer be required to complete Passenger Locator Forms under the change which comes into effect at 4am on Friday (18 March).


Non-vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take the pre-departure and day two PCR tests they are currently required to.


Monitoring by the UK Health Security Agency will continue with a contingency toolkit of measures developed tailored to specific future scenarios.


The SNP Government expressed concern over the lack of border control measures and - with the other devolved administrations - called on the UK Tory Government to maintain some form of border surveillance.


However given the negative impact of non-alignment on the tourism industry, alignment was reluctantly agreed on a four nation basis.


These changes only apply to incoming travellers. People should continue to check gov.uk for the latest information on the requirements in other countries when travelling abroad.


Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson MSP said:


“There will be continued surveillance by the UK Health Security Agency to monitor for developments of concern and a contingency toolkit is being progressed which will enable an agile and rapid response in future to any changes.


“This could include tailored restrictions where appropriate and people may wish to continue to observe sensible measures while travelling such as frequent hand washing and respecting social distancing.”


Kenneth Gibson MSP added:


“This development is encouraging for those who work in the travel and tourism industry, and of course to for those who were making travel plans.


“However, figures have shown why we must continue being cautious and continue to wear face coverings a little longer to be on the safe side.


“The fact that COVID is still so present among us illustrates why neither the SNP Government nor any of the other devolved administrations would have proposed a complete lack of border control measures.”


Further information on other countries’ requirements is available in UK Government international travel guidance.


ENDS