Can I go on holiday in July? Latest travel advice in Scotland as UK government gives green light for foreign holidays
With summer now on the horizon, many people will be itching to escape for some sun, sea and sand on holiday.
While travel bans still remain in several countries, lockdown restrictions are now starting to ease across the globe, giving hope to the possibility of travelling abroad.
But what are the rules on holidays in Scotland? Here’s what you need to know.
Can I go on holiday in July?
In Scotland, current rules state that two households are not allowed to meet indoors until 10 July, or stay overnight.
However, self-contained self-catering holiday accommodation, including camping and caravan sites, have now started to take bookings.
The Scottish Government expects all other holiday accommodation to reopen from 15 July, meaning Scots can enjoy local holidays later this month.
The five mile limit on travel is also no longer in place in most parts of Scotland as of 3 July, with Scots urged to “behave responsibly” as the rule was lifted. However, the restriction is still in forced in parts of Dumfries and Galloway, due to a local coronavirus outbreak.
Residents in Annan, Gretna, Dumfries, Lockerbie, Langholm and Canonbie will have to continue to follow the travel restriction. Dumfries and Galloway Council said the postcodes involved in the outbreak are DG1, DG2, DG11, DG12, DG13, DG14 and DG16.
In England, rules on overnight stays were relaxed earlier on 4 July, allowing two households of any size to meet up indoors and stay over.
The new rules also mean that people are permitted to stay overnight in self-contained accommodation within England, such as hotels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and caravan parks.
What about foreign travel?
On 4 July, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) updated its travel advice to allow non-essential international travel.
However, this advice only applies to a select number of countries and territories that are considered safe, and no longer pose a risk to British travellers.
The FCO is continuing to advise against non-essential international travel, with the exception of the countries and territories listed.
The UK government has published a list of 59 countries, including France, Spain and Italy, that travellers from England can visit from 4 July onwards, and will be exempt from quarantine on their return after 10 July.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has indicated that reciprocal arrangements between England and overseas nations have not been confirmed, but said it is the government's "expectation" that a number of exempted countries will also not require UK arrivals to self-isolate.
However, there is no guarantee that foreign nations will not have quarantine restrictions in place.
All travellers who arrive in the UK from abroad will still have to supply contact information to allow health officials to trace them should someone they have been in contact with display symptoms, or test positive, for coronavirus.
Do the rules on foreign travel apply in Scotland?
The updated travel restrictions are only applicable on travel to England, with the devolved nations setting out their own individual approaches.
The DfT confirmed in a statement that the devolved administrations “will set out their own approach", meaning passengers who arrive in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will have to follow the laws and guidance that apply in these areas.
As such, Scots who do travel abroad could face being quarantined for 14 days on their arrival back in the UK.
The Scottish Government has yet to announce its own guidance on foreign travel. Further information could be outlined at the next lockdown review, which is due to take place on Thursday 9 July.