New travel rules begin for double jabbed EU and US arrivals

Double vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU can now travel to Scotland without quarantining.

New travel rules begin for double jabbed EU and US arrivals PA Media
The rule change for US and EU arrivals came into effect at 4am on Monday morning.

Double vaccinated travellers from the US and the EU can travel to Scotland without quarantining from Monday morning.

The rules changed at 4am following a decision by the Scottish Government earlier this week, hours after UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced the relaxation of measures for England.

Subject to countries remaining on the amber travel list, travellers will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in Scotland.

The change does not apply to people who have been in France in the ten days prior to their arrival, due to concerns over the Beta variant of coronavirus.

Travellers need to show a negative test before departure and produce a negative PCR test result on day two after arrival.

The requirement to take a further PCR test on day eight is being dropped.

Those arriving will be required to show either the EU Digital Covid Certificate or the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s white card – known as a CDC card – to prove they are fully vaccinated.

Elaine Burt, 55, a senior nurse with the NHS from Newton Mearns, was waiting at Glasgow Airport for her sister and nephews to arrive from Boston in the US on Monday morning – their first meeting in 20 months.

She said: “We never thought it was going to happen with all of the different restrictions but we left it to the last minute to see what was possible. I can’t wait”.

Ms Burt said she was delighted her sister Michelle Bolger, 50, and her nephews Kaie, 17, and Taran, 12, who were all double vaccinated in the US, can visit Scotland and spend time with her mother Jean, who has been unwell, without having to quarantine first.

“We phone and video call all the time but it’s going to be so good to see them in person,” Ms Burt said.

Glasgow University veterinary medicine student Ben Hamilton, 19, from Texas, said it was a “relief” not to have to isolate after he landed back in Scotland, saying: “It’s the first time I’ve got back and not had to quarantine.

“It’s a relief not to have to sit inside myself for ten days.”

Announcing the changes last week, Scottish transport secretary Michael Matheson the change is down to “overwhelming success” of the vaccination scheme in Scotland as well as “successful rollouts” of vaccine programmes in the EU and US.

He said: “Fully vaccinated travellers will be able to travel to Scotland under this significant relaxation of international travel measures, providing a boost for the tourism sector and wider economy while ensuring public health is protected.”

He urged people to “continue to think very carefully about travelling – especially given the prevalence and unpredictable nature of variants of concern”.

The relaxation of the rules extends to the four European Free Trade Association members – Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Lichtenstein – and the microstates of Monaco, Andorra and Vatican City.