Scotland aligns its travel rules with England.
Posted on 24th September 2021 at 16:36
Scotland joins the rest of the UK in making travel and holidays, a whole lot easier!
The Scottish government is to align its testing requirements for international travellers with those issued by the UK government last week. Which undoubtedly good news for the whole of the UK in having a consistent approach.
Cabinet Secretary, Michael Matheson said the decision had been taken following consideration of the logistical, health and economic implications.
Scotland will also align with the UK post-arrival testing regime.
It is recognised that one of the biggest barriers to foreign travel has been the "FIT to FLY" test for return to the U.K. It was a huge barrier to making holiday bookings, since if the test came back positive, while out in resort, the consequences would be expensive and hugely disrumptive.
Michael Matheson addes: “We have urgently considered all these implications, weighing any possible impact on the public health and the logistical realities".
"After liaising at length with stakeholders from the aviation sector to understand the impact of adopting a different approach in Scotland, we have reluctantly concluded that, for practical reasons, alignment with the UK is the best option.”
Scottish Passengers Agents Association president Joanne Dooey said: “The removal of the pre departure in-destination test and the change to an initial lateral flow test on arrival back in Scotland is hugely welcome, but the delays which Scottish travellers experience with the confirmation of these changes does nothing to instil confidence to travel to and from Scotland.
Barrhead Travel president Jacqueline Dobson said: “It is very welcome to hear today that Scotland intends to fall in line with the UK government’s relaxation on testing. We have said all along that a four nations approach is critical to recovery and this news means that inbound and outbound travel businesses can plan for the same recovery opportunities as other businesses across the UK.
“We now turn to the UK government to urgently update the industry on the final plans for post-arrival testing to bolster customer confidence ahead of half-term.”
Mark Tanzer (ABTA Chief Executive) welcomed the announcement. He said: “Testing requirements have been a huge barrier to foreign travel for many people, stalling the travel industry’s recovery, so it is really welcome news that Scotland plans to relax testing requirements, in line with those in England, from October.
“A consistent approach across all four nations is crucial to ensure consumers understand the rules and feel confident to travel again, which will enable the travel industry to get back on its feet, and we made this clear in a letter to the devolved administrations this week.
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