Scotland’s international travel testing eased

The Scottish Government has announced that testing for inbound international travel to Scotland is to be eased and will align with the UK.

The move follows “consideration of the logistical, health and economic implications,” according to Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson.

Pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated travellers will be removed.

Travellers from non-red list countries who have been fully vaccinated in a country that meets recognised standards of certifications will no longer be required to provide evidence of a negative test result before they can travel to Scotland.

Scotland will also align with the UK post-arrival testing regime.

Matheson said: “We have concerns that the UK Government’s proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test for some travellers could weaken our ability to protect the public health of Scotland’s communities.

“However, we also recognise that not having UK wide alignment causes significant practical problems and creates disadvantages for Scottish businesses.

“Also, if non alignment led to travellers to Scotland choosing to route through airports elsewhere in the UK, the public health benefits of testing would be undermined in any event.

“We have urgently considered all these implications, weighing any possible impact on the public health and the logistical realities.

“After liaising at length with stakeholders from the aviation sector to understand the impact of adopting a different approach in Scotland, we have reluctantly concluded that, for practical reasons, alignment with the UK is the best option.

“The new proposals make clear pre-departure tests will no longer be a requirement. We also intend to align with the UK post-arrival testing regime.

“The detail of that is still being developed with lateral flow tests being considered and we will engage further with the UK Government on those plans. Details will be announced at the same time as the UK.

“Lastly, the importance of guarding against new variants entering the country can’t be ignored.

“We will therefore be considering, with Public Health Scotland, the implementation of additional public health surveillance around international travel.

“We would intend this to be at no cost to travellers.”

 

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Mark McSherry
Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.