Hungary added to quarantine list but Sweden taken off

Holidaymakers coming back Hungary and La Réunion will have to self-isolate from 4am on Saturday.

Hungary added to quarantine list but Sweden taken off Getty Images
Arrivals: Those returning from Hungary must isolate from Saturday.

Hungary and La Réunion have been placed on the list of countries where Scots need to quarantine when they return home – but Sweden has been taken off.

Travellers coming back from Hungary and La Réunion will need to self-isolate for 14 days from 4am on Saturday morning.

The Scottish Government said this is due to a “significant rise in cases of coronavirus in these locations” and the risk of returning Scots importing the virus into the country.

However, Sweden will be added to the exemption list, meaning those travelling to Scotland from the Scandinavian country will no longer be required to quarantine, also from 4am on Saturday.

Hungary and La Réunion are the latest territories to join the growing list of destinations moved from the exempt to the quarantine list amid rising Covid-19 cases in Europe and around the world.

Ministers have repeatedly warned of the risks of booking a foreign holiday at present, given how quickly quarantine measures can change.

Generally, Scotland permits so-called “air bridges” – meaning quarantine-free travel is allowed – with countries with lower or similar levels of coronavirus to here.

Failure to comply with requirement to quarantine can result in a fine of £480.

Justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We are in the midst of a global pandemic and the situation in many countries can change suddenly.

“So people should think very hard before deciding to travel abroad unless it is really necessary.

“Despite the increase in cases in Scotland, the infection rate here is still relatively low and any importation of new cases is a significant risk to public health. 

“I would also encourage people who have returned to Scotland from Hungary or La Réunion in the last few days to be particularly careful in their social contacts and to ensure they stick to the FACTS.”

FACTS is one of the Scottish Government’s public health messages on Covid, which stands for wear a face covering where required, avoid crowded places, clean your hands regularly, maintain two-metre distancing outside of people in your household and self-isolate if you get coronavirus symptoms.

Yousaf added: “It is a legal requirement to complete a passenger locator form and provide it to Border Force, wherever you have travelled from.

“The requirement for travellers to quarantine for 14 days on arrival from a non-exempt country is vital to help prevent transmission of the virus and to suppress it – not doing so poses a significant risk to wider public health across Scotland.”