Covid restrictions on international travellers will be relaxed from Friday, the Scottish Government announced.
The changes mean people travelling to Scotland from abroad who are fully vaccinated – which is defined as having had two jabs – or who are under the age of 18 will no longer need to take pre-departure Covid tests.
They will also no longer be required to self-isolate on arrival until they’ve received a negative result.
Travellers in this group will still need to take a test on or before day two after arriving in the UK – which can be on a lateral flow device rather than a PCR test from Sunday.
Anyone who tests positive on their lateral flow test will need to isolate and take a free confirmatory PCR test.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a relaxation to travel rules on Wednesday but travel operators had been left waiting for clarity from the Scottish Government.
Tougher rules were originally introduced following the identification of the fast-spreading Omicron variant in South Africa last November.
Aberdeen Airport welcome decision
Aberdeen Airport bosses welcomed the decision to relax travel restrictions, which they said had been a “hammer blow” to their recovery and passenger confidence.
A spokesman for AGS Airports Ltd, which owns Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton Airports, said: “In light of the Prime Minister’s decision to scrap pre-departure testing it was important the Scottish Government do the same and adopt a four nations approach to prevent Scotland’s connectivity from falling further behind.
“These restrictions significantly impact our industry and the thousands of people it employs.
“We need governments to start planning now for the meaningful recovery of international travel and the vital connectivity it delivers for the country.”
‘Sensible to review measures’
Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “We still have significant concerns over Omicron, but we recognise that, now it is the most dominant strain in Scotland and across the UK, it is sensible to review the measures currently in place.
“We also fully understand the impact of the restrictions on staff and businesses in the travel and aviation sectors and these changes demonstrate our commitment not to keep measures in place any longer than necessary.
“However, people still need to be extremely careful when travelling and to remember that both our and other countries’ Covid-19 requirements can change at short notice as things can evolve very quickly.
“People should therefore ensure they have travel insurance and carefully check their booking terms and conditions, as well as ensuring compliance with the latest regulations for the country being visited.”