All arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area must book and pay for managed isolation in quarantine hotels to help protect against the importation of Coronavirus (COVID-19) from 15 February.
Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per individual traveller. Final costs for those not travelling alone are currently being worked through, as well as the details for a Managed Isolation Welfare Fund which will be launched for those who cannot afford the charge.
All arrivals must quarantine for at least ten days and will be tested twice for the virus – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival.
Existing travel exemptions will be strengthened, including limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.
A small number of arrivals will not be required to isolate, such as those involved in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland.
The Scottish Government will continue to engage with airports and discussions to secure a four nations approach to contracting the security, transport and accommodation services required are already underway.
As regulations to support the introduction of managed isolation are developed a range of offences and penalties to help ensure compliance will be considered.
It is still the case that all non-essential international travel is not permitted.
In a statement to Parliament the Transport Secretary urged the UK Government to match the comprehensive approach being taken by the Scottish Government.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said
To manage the risk of importing new variants, and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality here in Scotland, we have to place further limits on international travel.
The UK Government has only committed to adopting this for travellers returning from “red list” countries. However, we know that is not sufficient and we will go further.
The clinical advice is clear that a comprehensive system of managed quarantine is essential to minimise the impact of new COVID-19 variants.