Coronavirus: Quarantine starts for travellers entering Scotland

Woman travellingImage source, Getty Images

Anyone entering Scotland from abroad must go into quarantine for two weeks or face a £480 fine.

The 14-day isolation period will be enforced from Monday to prevent new cases of Covid-19 being brought into the country.

The Scottish public health measures are broadly similar to the UK-wide measures which take effect at the same time.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf confirmed during Sunday's coronavirus briefing that Scotland would be following the rest of the UK by introducing a quarantine for travellers.

Passengers will be expected to follow and adhere to the Scottish guidance when their final destination is Scotland.

The regulations apply to people who live in Scotland who are returning from outside the UK as well as to visitors.

The fines are lower than those in England, where there will be fixed penalty notices of £1,000 or prosecution for anyone who breaches their self-isolation.

Mr Yousaf said this was due to the different legal systems in the two countries which mean a fine would have to be reported to the procurator fiscal if above £500.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Border Force staff will perform spot checks

From 8 June, the rules for Scotland are:

  • Residents and visitors arriving from abroad must self-isolate for 14 days
  • All travellers must complete an online passenger locator form supplying contact details, travel details and the address of where they will self-isolate
  • Border Force will carry out spot checks at the border and can impose a fine of £60 on those who refuse to comply (£100 in England)
  • Arrangements will be made for those arriving into Scotland to be contacted during self-isolation to receive public health advice and information
  • Those who fail to self-isolate can be fined £480 (up to £1,000 in England)
  • Persistent offenders can be reported to the procurator fiscal for potential prosecution and a maximum £5,000 fine.
Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
People arriving in the UK will have to isolate for 14 days or face penalties

If someone arrives in the UK with coronavirus symptoms they need to tell staff on their plane, train ferry or bus and they will not be allowed to use public transport to get to their destination to self-isolate.

If international travellers are not able to self-isolate safely when they get here, then the UK government will provide accommodation for them, at cost to the traveller.

Mr Yousaf said: "We are, as a country and across the world, continuing to deal with unprecedented challenges that this pandemic brings. These public health measures will play an important part in helping to prevent further spread of the disease.

"These steps are aimed at protecting people and ensuring that we limit spread when our own infection rates are falling.

"However, they are temporary and will not be in place any longer than deemed necessary to protect public health - as such, they will be reviewed after three weeks."

Some exemptions

Some people do not have to self-isolate when coming into the country, including people arriving from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.

People doing some jobs, like road haulage and freight workers and medical and care professionals providing essential healthcare will also be exempt.

The UK government has also said it is looking into ''international travel corridors'' between the UK and countries with low infection rates and strong healthcare systems.

It hopes this could avoid the need for quarantine for travellers between the two countries.