Fully vaccinated travellers from the European Union no longer have to quarantine upon arrival in Scotland, the Scottish Government announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The measure, which will also apply to all fully vaccinated residents from the United States, follows on from a similar announcement by England made earlier on Wednesday. In practical terms, the change means fully vaccinated people can avoid 10-days isolation upon arrival, a rule which had previously only been possible for those vaccinated in the UK.
This news will no doubt come as a relief for expats living abroad – including Belgium – who were unable to visit family and friends despite being fully vaccinated.
In a letter addressed to Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, the British in Europe group explains that “it appears, although this remains to be clarified, that UK citizens fully vaccinated abroad and living in amber countries are not included in this change of policy.”
“We would like to know the epidemiological and legal bases for this decision, as we can see no medical or legal reason for it based on the publicly available evidence of the protection against Covid-19 offered by the vaccinations authorised by the EMA and MHRA,” British in Europe explained in its letter.
The new rules - which will go into effect on Monday 2 August - will require travellers to produce a negative test prior to departure and a negative PCR test on day two after arrival.
Arrivals from the EU will be able to use their European digital Covid pass to prove they have been fully vaccinated for over two weeks.
“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," Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said on the news.