People living in Scotland will be able to travel to 39 countries from July 10 without needing to quarantine for 14 days on their return.
Speaking at her press briefing on July 8, Nicola Sturgeon rejected some countries on the UK government’s list which were revealed earlier this week.
Spain is the highest profile absentee, with Sturgeon saying that transmission in the popular tourist destination was still too high.
“I know how many people from Scotland enjoy travelling to Spain and I know how much we love welcoming Spanish tourists," she said. "My hope is these restrictions can be relaxed soon, and possibly very soon."
Traffic light system
The First Minister explained that countries which have been rated green by the UK government would feature on Scotland’s list of air bridges.
Countries with an amber rating along with a lower prevalence than Scotland are also featured, such as Italy, France and Greece.
Tourists travelling to amber- rated countries with a higher prevalence of coronavirus – such as Spain – will still be required to quarantine.
Ms. Sturgeon admitted that cutting out some countries was “a difficult decision”, but explained that since Scotland had a lower prevalence than the rest of the UK, it was necessary.
She said: “Scotland’s position is a bit different from that of the UK as a whole. Across the UK, it is estimated that around 180 people in every 100,000 currently have Covid.
“That’s higher than the 28 which is our central estimate for Scotland. And this is relevant to the decisions we take on the relaxation of quarantine.
“Amongst those countries that the UK Government has rated as amber, quite a few – including for example Denmark, Greece and the Netherlands - have a prevalence range which is lower than Scotland’s.
“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.
“And this variation in the amber countries, feeds into the decision we are making today.”
Full list of countries not requiring quarantine
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Sint Eustatius and Saba
- Czech Republic
- Faroe Islands
- French Polynesia
- Hong Kong
- New Caledonia
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- St Barthélemy
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- St Pierre and Miquelon
- Trinidad and Tobago
- Vatican City
Arrivals to the UK from countries not on this list are required to self-isolate at a private residence for 14 days.
Under the new measures, international travellers could face spot checks and £1,000 fines if they fail to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK
Exemptions for road hauliers and medical officials apply.
Travellers will be asked to fill in a form with their contact information, and health officials will perform spot checks to ensure compliance with the measures.
The UK government has said that these measures would apply not just to those arriving by air travel, but by other means of transport such as ferry.
The 14-day quarantine period will apply to British citizens as well as foreign nationals.