The rules around international travel are changing to make it easier to enter Scotland, despite concerns of an “inevitable” rise in coronavirus cases at the international COP26 climate summit.
Glasgow is getting ready to host the major UN gathering, which starts this weekend.
Up to 25,000 delegates from all over the world are expected to attend in a bid to tackle global climate change, including US President Joe Biden, Sir David Attenborough and climate activist Greta Thunberg.
Despite concerns of a rise in coronavirus transmission at the event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says travel restrictions will now be brought in line with England, making it easier for people to enter Scotland from abroad.
Changes to international travel to Scotland
Under present rules, fully-vaccinated travellers coming from a country that is not on the Scottish Government’s red list are required to provide a negative PCR test within two days of arriving in Scotland.
From 4am on Sunday October 31, those travelling into Scotland will only need to provide a negative lateral flow test along with photographic ID.
Speaking in Holyrood, the first minister said: “The UK Government announced those in England are now able to take a lateral flow test with photo verification and for practical reasons the Scottish Government will allow this change.
“These cost between £20 and £30 less than a PCR test so the change will be welcome.”
These lateral flow tests can be booked in advance from 5pm on Friday 29 October.
Ms Sturgeon added if the lateral flow test is positive, travellers will still need self-isolate and book a PCR test to confirm the result.
‘Inevitable’ rise in Covid cases at COP26
Tens of thousands of delegates from all over the world will be descending on Glasgow for the COP26 summit, which runs from October 31 until November 12.
Ms Sturgeon added: “Hosting was always going to be a significant challenge given the scale of the event, but for it to be happening during a global pandemic makes it even more challenging.
“It is inevitable that an event of this scale poses a risk of increased Covid transmission.
“I want to ensure the public the Scottish Government is working with the UN and the UK Government to mitigate the risks as far as possible.”
There has been a push to get as many international delegates fully vaccinated against coronavirus as possible before they arrive in Scotland.
Anyone coming from outside the common travel area must show a negative test result.
Those coming from red list countries will still need to do a mandatory 10-day quarantine in a hotel before they can attend the climate change summit.