Testing for international travel from Scotland will be eased as part of government plans to align with the implemented rules in the UK.
Th Scottish Government will adopt a different approach to testing in effort to avoid “practical problems” and any disadvantages to business across the country.
Under the new testing regime, pre-departure tests for fully vaccinated travellers will be removed.
People who have received both jabs and are traveling from countries, which are not on the red list, will also not be required to provide evidence of a negative test result before arriving in Scotland.
The new proposal comes after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon introduced a “simpler” travel system last week as the green and amber classifications were merged.
However, the the red list was decided to remain in place for those countries deemed to have high Covid case rates or variants of concern.
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson raised concerns about the impact these changes could have on protecting the public health, however, stressed the introduction of the new regime was needed.
He said: “We have concerns that the UK Government’s proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test for some travellers could weaken our ability to protect the public health of Scotland’s communities.
“However, we also recognise that not having UK-wide alignment causes significant practical problems and creates disadvantages for Scottish businesses.
“Also, if non alignment led to travellers to Scotland choosing to route through airports elsewhere in the UK, the public health benefits of testing would be undermined in any event.
“We have urgently considered all these implications, weighing any possible impact on the public health and the logistical realities.”
Changes in post-arrival testing rules?
Mr Matheson added that following discussions with stakeholders from the aviation sector, alignment with the UK international travel rules was voted as “the best option”.
The government has also confirmed plans to follow the UK’s post-arrival regime, details of which are still to be finalised at Westminster and will be announced in due course.
Mr Matheson added: “The detail of that is still being developed with lateral flow tests being considered and we will engage further with the UK Government on those plans. Details will be announced at the same time as the UK.
“Lastly, the importance of guarding against new variants entering the country can’t be ignored.
“We will therefore be considering, with Public Health Scotland, the implementation of additional public health surveillance around international travel. We would intend this to be at no cost to travellers.”