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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced
that Scotland will allow international travel again from Monday 17 May, with
the country moving - for now - to the same traffic-light system as that announced for
England last week.
Countries will be classified as green, amber and
red based on assessments by the UK’s Joint Biosecurity Centre about the state
of the pandemic in each country across the world including the presence of
variants of concern.
Arrivals from green list countries will need to
take a PCR test shortly after arrival, but will not be required to
Arrivals from countries on the amber list – which
accounts for the majority of countries – must self-isolate at home for ten days,
and take two PCR tests during that period.
Arrivals from a red list country will be required
to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for ten days.
Sturgeon said that the green list would initially
include 12 countries and territories and will, at least for now, be the same as
those announced for England:
Announcing the new rules, Sturgeon said, “This decision means that, as of
now, we have a consistent four nations position on international travel. That
is positive - and it has been made possible because the decisions the UK
government has arrived at are appropriately cautious.
“I hope this continues to be the case - but I need
to stress that the Scottish Government will continue to take the decisions we
consider to be right for Scotland. We will not sign up to decisions that might
put our progress at risk.
“We have made so much progress in suppressing the
virus within Scotland we must not put that at risk now, by enabling new
variants to enter the country too easily.
“And for that reason, I want to stress one final
point very strongly. Even though the rules on non-essential travel are starting
to change, that doesn’t mean we are saying that non-essential international
travel is desirable.”
Sturgeon added, “Let me be
very, very clear; difficult as I know this is, we still intend to be highly
cautious on international travel - given the risk of new variants - but we
consider that the situation now allows us to begin a careful move away from
blanket restrictions on non-essential travel overseas.
“The four UK chief medical officers have said that
green-list status should be the exception, rather than the rule, and I agree
with that approach. There will have to be very good reasons for adding a
country to the green list and so removing quarantine requirements and we will
not do that lightly.”
The FM also announced that Nepal, the Maldives and Turkey have been added to the red list as of Wednesday 12 May at 4am.