February 24, 2024

Scotland to follow England by easing rules for amber arrivals

Scottish travel agents have welcomed the decision by Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to fall in line with England over arrivals from amber countries.

From July 19, Scotland will also allow fully-vaccinated people returning from amber list countries to swerve quarantine, as long as they take a test after arrival in the UK.

Joanne Dooey, President of The Scottish Passenger Agents’ Association (SPAA), said she expects to see a rise in demand for overseas travel as a result.

But she added: “However, we still need a comprehensive plan for how the travel sector can return fully. Outbound tourists may be worth £1.466billion to Scotland, but inbound visitors are far more valuable to our whole country, especially to some of our remotest communities which depend on seasonal visitor spend.”

An ABTA spokesperson said: “It is welcome that self-isolation restrictions will ease on July 19 for fully vaccinated individuals returning to Scotland from amber list countries, but the First Minister must urgently review the ongoing advice against ‘non-essential’ international travel.

“It sends mixed signals to people who need a much-deserved break or long to see their friends and family abroad. While this advice remains, confidence to travel from Scotland will remain low and further financial support must be given to travel agents and tour operators, who continue to face the toughest trading conditions of all sectors.”

From July 19, Scottish Ministers will also remove a blanket isolation requirement for close contacts of those who test positive, provided they are double-jabbed.

A ‘gradual’ return to office working was also expected to start from the same date but this has now been put back to August 9.

While Scotland has followed England’s lead on most changes, rules related to face coverings will be different in the two countries from next week. While masks will no longer be legally required in most places in England from July 19, mandatory wearing of masks in shops and on public transport will remain in Scotland.