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Here are the countries that Scotland residents can visit without quarantine – if they let you in

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The Scottish Government published its own list of countries today from which returning residents will be exempt from quarantine from Friday.

It is, confusingly, different from the list of quarantine-free countries for residents of England, which we published here.

Which countries can Scottish residents visit without quarantine?

Here are the countries you can visit without having to quarantine on your return to Scotland.  Remember that there is no guarantee that these countries will let you in – good luck getting into New Zealand before 2021.

  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
  • Croatia
  • Curaçao
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • Finland
  • France

Quarantine country list

  • French Polynesia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Greenland
  • Grenada
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Caledonia
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Réunion
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • South Korea
  • St Barthélemy
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Pierre and Miquelon
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Vatican City
  • Vietnam

Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are also included because they are part of the Common Travel Area.

Which countries are missing from the English list?

There are two countries where you don’t need to quarantine on your return if you live in England, but you do if you live in Scotland:

  • Serbia
  • Spain

Can you travel from Spain via an English airport to avoid quarantine?

Legally, no.  If you fly into an English airport then you are still required to undertake 14 days quarantine on your return from Spain.

However, it isn’t clear if there is any way for the Scottish Government to receive information on passengers using English airports.

Which countries does the Foreign Office list as safe to visit?

As a reminder, there is also a second list, just to confuse you even further.

This list, below, comprises countries where the Foreign Office advises you can travel to safely.  This means that your travel insurance will be valid once again.

Remember that – unless a country also appears on the ‘no quarantine’ list above – you will still have to quarantine for 14 days on returning to Scotland.

Click the link for specific Foreign Office advice for each country.  The source page is here.

Europe

Americas

Asia-Pacific

Africa

Antarctica

Comments (62)

  • Callum says:

    Is having two additional countries on the list really that confusing? If you’re returning to England, read the list relevant to England. If you’re returning to Scotland, read the list relevant to Scotland.

    Given Serbia is currently experiencing a huge spike after allegedly covering it up to help gain support for the government in their recent elections, it’s very sensible to include them on the list – as many other countries are doing.

  • Zander says:

    I’ll echo an earlier poster. There is nothing confusing about the fact that the list is different from England. It is so due to perfectly valid public health reasons. IE, the infection is under much better control and hence the prevalence is significantly lower (about 5 times less)than in England. So visitors returning from Spain and Serbia present a higher risk in Scotland than elsewhere.

  • Zander says:

    Probably worth noting that Scottish travellers returning to Scotland via an English airport are still legally required to comply with the quarantine requirements of Scotland.
    Border Control UK are passing details of all travellers who are returning to Scotland to Public Health Scotland. PHS will conduct checks on compliance of travellers for any quarantine requirements. But why on earth anyone would want to try and circumvent public health measures is beyond me.

  • Netxu says:

    And what about foreign people entering Scotland? We were planning a road trip there this summer.
    We are Spanish citizen who live on a Covid low prevalence zone near the French border (we live in the “Basque Country”). Would flying to EDI from BOD instead of BIO make any difference?

    • callum says:

      Of course it wouldn’t.

      While it is frustrating, I wish people would stop trying to find loopholes and deliberately break quarantine regulations designed to SAVE LIVES for trivial reasons like “the hundreds of other places I could take a roadtrip instead aren’t quite as appealing to me”.

      Unlike many, I won’t criticise you personally because I feel like trying to find an “escape” when you feel trapped is natural, but have a think about what you’re doing…

      • Netxu says:

        Well, I’m very concerned about the sanitary situation. In fact, I’m pregnant and I don’t want to overexpose to the virus, that’s why I want to travel within Scotland by car and avoid human contact as much as possible.
        It’s not fair that a person living 15km away from me, in France, can enter Scotland without quarantine and I can’t.
        Last, as I told on my previous post, I live on a low prevalence zone (2,5%) where people and government are acting responsibly against the virus spread: https://english.elpais.com/society/2020-07-06/final-round-of-coronavirus-study-confirms-that-52-of-spanish-population-has-antibodies.html
        It is very frustrating having to change holiday destination again, and again, and again…

        • Callum says:

          To be frank, I couldn’t care less that it’s frustrating to rearrange your holiday. That’s purely on you for deciding to have a holiday in the middle of a global pandemic… So many people have it far, far worse than you do.

          • Callum says:

            I’m, for example, not allowed to take a holiday at all, can only leave my house for individual exercise or to get food/medicine and aren’t even allowed to leave the city let alone country.

            You can just move your roadtrip location to a hundred over places around you…

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Come to rural England, generally just as low Covid as you have (avoid the big cities for now) and you will be welcome.

        • Lady London says:

          If you need remote @Netxu do you know how many beautiful and remote places there are in Spain?

      • Sharka says:

        @Callum Covid-19 has a mortality rate that of a bad flu based on numbers from the CDC (0.26%). Italy has revised its mortality statistics by reducing those caused by Covid-19 by 90%, since the actual cause of death was pre-existing morbidities (the average age of death was around 85 with 3-4 morbidities). The same adjustment will be made to UK numbers as 90% of those certificates have the same genuine cause of death listed: the cost per death ‘avoided’ will be in the tens or hundreds of millions. For anyone healthy under about 70, the risk of dying from drowning, driving down the road, or being struck by lightning is higher: so, please stop the moralising on this useful travel site.

        • Callum says:

          A perfect example as to why anyone with a brain should ignore unverified pronouncements by random internet experts…

          The CDC number is a very old estimate, generally dismissed as too low by experts. I can find no source whatsoever for your ridiculous sounding claim about Italy – where exactly did you read that?

          I’ll “moralise” as much as I want thank you very much. If you want to get rid of restrictions then make a case (though given your ignorant use of statistics it’s not one I’m interested in discussing with you, even though – believe it or not – I do somewhat agree!). However, I’m categorically not going to just shut up about people trying to find ways to get away with breaking quarantine law because they can’t get their precious holiday. Aside from everything, it’s grossly unfair on those of us who comply with the law.

          • jamesj says:

            No-one complies with the law completely, you are kidding only yourself. And no-one thinks that Nicola’s pronouncements at this stage are any more then political statements

          • Callum says:

            The vast majority of people seem to comply with quarantine law… I know I certainly have.

            Again, people who comply with the law do. You seem to be projecting your own disrespect for the law onto everyone else ..

        • Lady London says:

          So you would deprive my beloved family member, aged 83 but with 2 excellently managed relevant pre-existing conditions, of living to an age between 92 and 98. Which given our family’s medical history, is quite possible even with those conditions. When exposure to COVID will take those 9-15 years of productive life and turn that into 4 or 5 weeks.

          Just so you can have a holiday this year.

      • Lady London says:

        +1 Well said @Callum

    • Andrew says:

      I wouldn’t worry. Every announcement from Scotland has been ever so slightly more restrictive than the similar announcement out of England only for them to be brought into line a couple of weeks later. I’d be willing to bet anything that by August there won’t be any restrictions on Spain anymore.

    • Anon says:

      I’m pretty stunned you want to travel at the moment while pregnant, let alone in Scotland which has some pretty remote parts where you might struggle to get to hospital quickly in an emergency. I don’t know your circumstances but if you’re also not used to driving on the left that’s an extra risk: there have been some horrific fatal accidents in recent years involving drivers who are used to driving on the right in their own countries. And yes you would need to quarantine at the moment!
      Spain has successfully completed a much stricter lockdown than we’ve had in the UK and our infection rate isn’t dropping as much as some doctors would like it to – you have an absolutely beautiful country to explore on your doorstep as well! (Well, 2 beautiful countries as you are very close to France also).

  • Al says:

    There’s nothing “confusing” at all about a democratically-elected government taking decisions which are relevant to its population, and taking the time to explain clearly the rationale (while the prevalence of infection in Spain is only double that of the U.K., it is ten times that if Scotland), other than to someone with a London-centric view of the world, and/or a political agenda.

    • Andrew says:

      There’s lots of confusion.

      The media, and MSPs trip between “Scottish Residents”, “Scottish People”, “Scots” without any thought. My sister-in-law’s parents, who are Geordies living in Scotland, are confident that they can go to Spain as they aren’t Scots.

      He was telling me how they smiled and waved at Sturgeon’s finest waving their “English Go Home” signs near Berwick after visiting family across the border last week. They were, of course, going home to Edinburgh.

      As a Scottish, English resident who will be visiting family in Spain next week then Scotland the week after, goodness knows what the rules are.

    • GeorgeJ says:

      Where do you get the rate in Spain being double that of the UK? I think its the other way round!

      No politics just data

      • Al says:

        From the FM’s statement yesterday:

        “However there are others, such as Spain in particular, that have a significantly higher prevalence. As reported by the Joint Biosecurity Centre, the prevalence of the virus in Spain is around 330 people in every 100,000 have Covid.

        That means the rate reported for Spain, while less than twice the rate for the UK as a whole, is more than 10 times the estimated rate for Scotland”

        https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-update-first-ministers-speech-8-july-2020/

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Al,

          The trouble is seeing where that number of 330 for Spain per 100,000 actually came from. The joint biosecurity centre which was quoted/misquoted by the First Minister has no remit in Spain!
          The last UK surveillance report (2 July) concluded that the underlying UK rate was @ 85 per hundred thousand (about four times the tested positive number) though a new one is due out in the next 24 hours so we will see how that compares to 180 quoted by her.
          The actual number of cases reported by Spain in the last 14 days was 10.7 per hundred thousand (Source = Centre for European Disease Control -which does have a remit for collecting Spanish data). How do you get from 10.7 to 330!

          • GeorgeJ says:

            Well ONS England have today updated their estimate of cases of the disease in England to 14000 or one in 3900 which is 26 per 100,000 compared to Nicolas pronouncement of 180.
            I suspect we will see clarification when the Spanish rate falls miraculously and travel from Spain is permitted at the next review.

          • readystEDIgo says:

            Well, despite your view, the UK Government also seem to place value on The Joint Biosecurity Centre;

            From the Guardian;

            https://www.theguardian.com/politics/live/2020/jul/10/uk-coronavirus-live-news-quarantine-rules-end-masks-scotland-covid-19-latest-updates

            The British government is removing Serbia from its list of countries from which people can return to or visit England without going into quarantine, bringing England into line with Scotland.
            A spokesman said: “The Joint Biosecurity Centre together with Public Health England have updated their coronavirus assessments of Serbia based on the latest data.
            “As a result, the government has decided to remove Serbia from the list of countries from which passengers arriving in England are exempted from the need to self-isolate.
            “We’ve always been clear that we would act immediately to remove a country where necessary. Both our list of exemptions and the FCO travel advice are being updated to reflect these latest risk assessments.”

  • Bill says:

    Isle of Man border is still effectively closed so do not attempt to travel. Details at gov.im

  • Alan says:

    I don’t think it’s that confusing, just check the relevant list. Personally I’ve just accepted I won’t be travelling abroad until at least the autumn this year anyway – plenty of nice places to visit in Scotland anyway.

    • Andrew says:

      But that’s exactly what’s confusing: which list is relevant? It refers to ‘Scottish residents’ so if I live in England but fly from a Scottish airport presumably it doesn’t apply to me? What if I want a weekend in Edinburgh on my return or if I travel home to England immediately but then a week later have to go to Glasgow for the day?

      There’s a good reason the UK has a combined foreign policy and this is one area where all of the devolved governments (and England) should have worked it out together rather than trying to score political points (in the case of England wanting to please people by allowing summer holidays; in the case of Scotland wanting to claim they’re more protective of their population than England; and in the case of Wales just wanting to be different to remind everyone they’re there).

      • Callum says:

        If you’re confused then just look at the ACTUAL government list, which very clearly states passengers entering Scotland.

        The internet has been around for a long time, it’s shocking how many otherwise competent people still can’t use it properly!

        • GeorgeJ says:

          Sorry Callum but you haven’t understood it either, it actually says
          “The regulations apply to people who live in Scotland and who are returning from out with the UK as well as to people visiting Scotland” It doesn’t apply to people not covered by that definition.

          In my case I have a home on the English side of the border and when I return from Spain in August via Edinburgh (assuming this piece of parochial nonsense continues) I will return there and because i live in England I will not need to self quarantine. Of course where it gets interesting is if I then decide to go shopping in the nearest large supermarket in Kelso (ie Scotland). There is no rule at present to forbid me from travelling and I wont quarantine as I will not be staying in Scotland. It is truly shambolic, but self inflicted.

          • callum says:

            The very first paragraph of the notice on the government website says: “Passengers arriving in Scotland from 57 overseas destinations that have similar or lower levels of coronavirus (COVID-19) infection than Scotland will no longer need to quarantine. Travellers from the 14 UK overseas territories will also be exempt.” I have no idea what you’ve been reading?

            It also says that if you’re coming from the Common Travel Area but have been inside it for less than 14 days, you have to self-isolate. Technically you therefore wouldn’t be allowed to go to the supermarket in Kelso, though whether they care or not is another question.

          • GeorgeJ says:

            This one is for Callum who is struggling a bit with the Scottish Governments pronouncements (not surprising since they are changing every day). Anyway this is the one dealing with the new quarantine regime:
            https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-health-checks-at-borders/pages/overview/
            It clearly states my earlier view as to who is covered by the regime, now adding a bit of useful clarification about the CAT.
            Please ignore his point about my prospective shopping trip to Kelso being a trip from the CAT, it is not. Scotland is not a separate member of the CAT (which is a series of legally binding agreements between the UK, Ireland, IOM and the Channel Islands) it is a component member of the United Kingdom and the CAT has no relevance to inter UK travel.
            This is all quite unnecessarily complex, I will probably just go to the shops in Berwick instead!

        • Andrew says:

          Quite, it is shocking how many people can’t use the internet properly. Believe it or not a few people still don’t have access to it at all which is why the rules on something as important as this need to be absolutely clear. The majority of people won’t go and read the page on gov.scot. They’ll rely on the news to inform them and I’ve yet to read a single news article, this one included, which gets the advice correct. The Scotsman refers to ‘people living in Scotland’, both the BBC and Daily Record refer to the rules applying to ‘Scots’.

          This isn’t a criticism of Scotland. All regions of the UK should have worked together to come up with a single set of rules. Whether Spain should or shouldn’t be on the exemption list is up to our elected leaders, on the advice of scientists, to hammer out between themselves.

          • GeorgeJ says:

            Yes I agree. However getting the devolved assemblies to agree with the UK government is almost a complete utopian view. Their whole rationale is to be different. In the early days of the crisis there would be a discussion and agreement with London and they would then all go off and immediately announce something slightly different themselves. Nicola was never going to agree to an English list, whoever it had on it (and this time they didnt waste time consulting with her, given previous form).
            Its the Spanish I feel sorry for, they actually have a lower rate of infection than the UK and I couldn’t see where the figures used to justify there exclusion came from. Also if the Scottish rate is as low as claimed, many of the included countries are also worse.

          • callum says:

            I’d love to meet these mythical people who have no access to the internet, no access to anyone who has internet access and no access to a phone to call the government helpline yet still somehow manage to organise and carry out international travel in the midst of a global pandemic. How incredibly resourceful they must be!