Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that quarantine-free international travel will be allowed in Scotland.

It will be part of a traffic lights system, similar to the one announced by Boris Johnson, and will come into effect on May 17.

Countries are to be classified as green, amber and red and a review will take place every four weeks.

This would mean that you can travel to certain 'green list' countries without needing to quarantine upon return.

However, the First Minister has confirmed that people should be cautious and aim to staycation this year.

Here's what you need to know:

HeraldScotland:

How will it work?

Countries will be placed into three categories - green, amber and red - based on the number of Covid-19 cases and the success of their vaccine rollout.

Scotland will follow the rest of the UK in a four nations approach to international travel.


What are the rules for arriving from a green country?

Arrivals from green list countries will not be required to quarantine or isolate on arrival in Scotland, but will need to take a PCR test shortly after arrival. 


What are the rules for arriving from an amber country?

People should not be travelling to amber countries for leisure.

Arrivals from amber list countries, which will be the majority of countries, should self-isolate at home [or if a visitor from another country, their accommodation on arrival] for 10 days, and take two PCR tests while they are isolating.


What are the rules for arriving from a red country?

You should not be travelling to red countries for leisure.

People can only enter the UK if they are a UK or Irish national (or UK resident).

Travellers must:

Arrivals from green list countries will not be required to quarantine or isolate on arrival in Scotland, but will need to take a PCR test shortly after arrival. 


These green countries include:

  • Portugal
  • Israel
  • Singapore
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Brunei
  • Iceland
  • Gibraltar
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • South Georgia and the Sandwich Islands
  • St Helena, Tristan de Cunh and Ascension Island

What did Nicola Sturgeon say?

The First Minister said: "From Monday, we will move to a traffic light system, informed by risk assessments prepared by the Joint Biosecurity Centre. These assessments will be based on the state of the pandemic in each country across the world - including the presence of variants of concern.

"If you enter Scotland from a red list country - one of the countries identified as acute-risk under our current regulations - you will still be required to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for 10 days.

"Due to changes coming into force from tomorrow, these red list countries will include Turkey, the Maldives and Nepal.

"If you arrive from a country on the amber list - which for now will be the majority of countries - you must self-isolate at home for 10 days, and take two PCR tests during this period.

"We will also introduce a Green List of countries. If you travel from a green list country, you will need to take a PCR test shortly after your arrival, but will not be required to self-isolate.

"The four UK Chief Medical Officers have indicated that green list status should be the exception, rather than the rule, and I very much agree with that approach.

"There will have to be very good reasons for adding a country to the green list and so removing quarantine requirements, and we will not do so lightly.

"I can confirm that the 12 countries and territories on our initial green list will be the same as those announced for England.

"For now, this is a very limited list and includes: Australia Brunei Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Gibraltar Iceland Israel New Zealand Portugal Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan de Cunha Singapore South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

"This decision means that, as of now, we have a consistent four nations position on international travel. I think that is positive - and it has been made possible because the decisions the UK government has arrived at are appropriately cautious.

"I hope this continues to be the case - but I need to stress that the Scottish Government will continue to take the decisions we consider to be right for Scotland. We will not sign up to decisions that might put our progress at risk.

"We have made so much progress in suppressing the virus within Scotland. We must not put that at risk now, by enabling new variants to enter the country too easily.

"And for that reason, I want to stress one final point very strongly. Even though the rules on non-essential travel are starting to change, that doesn’t mean we're saying non-essential international travel is desirable.

"Everyone should think seriously about whether they need to travel abroad this summer. I know for many people international travel is about family connections and it's understandable people may want to travel for that.

"But when it comes to holidays abroad, my advice continues to be to err on the side of caution and to staycation this summer."

Currently, we do not know which countries will be included in Red and Amber for Scotland, but Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland would be following a similar approach to England.

Forty-three countries are now on the red list, including Turkey, India, Pakistan, Nepal, the Maldives, Brazil and South Africa.


List of Amber countries according to UK Government:

  • Afghanistan 
  • Akrotiri and Dhekelia 
  • Albania 
  • Algeria 
  • Andorra 
  • Anguilla 
  • Antigua and Barbuda 
  • Armenia 
  • Aruba 
  • Australia (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Austria 
  • Azerbaijan 
  • The Bahamas 
  • Bahrain 
  • Barbados 
  • Belarus 
  • Belgium 
  • Belize 
  • Benin 
  • Bermuda 
  • Bhutan 
  • Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba 
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina 
  • British Antarctic Territory 
  • British Indian Ocean Territory 
  • British Virgin Islands 
  • Brunei (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Bulgaria 
  • Burkina Faso 
  • Cambodia 
  • Cameroon 
  • Canada 
  • Cayman Islands 
  • Central African Republic 
  • Chad 
  • China 
  • Comoros 
  • Congo 
  • Cook Islands 
  • Costa Rica 
  • Côte d’Ivoire 
  • Croatia 
  • Cuba 
  • Curaçao 
  • Cyprus 
  • Czech Republic (Czechia) 
  • Denmark 
  • Djibouti 
  • Dominica 
  • Dominican Republic 
  • Egypt 
  • El Salvador 
  • Equatorial Guinea 
  • Eritrea 
  • Estonia 
  • Falkland Islands (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Faroe Islands (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Fiji 
  • Finland 
  • France 
  • French Polynesia 
  • Gabon 
  • The Gambia 
  • Georgia 
  • Germany 
  • Ghana 
  • Gibraltar (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Greece (including islands) 
  • Greenland 
  • Grenada 
  • Guadeloupe 
  • Guatemala 
  • Guinea 
  • Guinea-Bissau 
  • Haiti 
  • Honduras 
  • Hong Kong 
  • Hungary 
  • Iceland (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Indonesia 
  • Iran 
  • Iraq 
  • Israel and Jerusalem (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Italy 
  • Jamaica 
  • Japan 
  • Jordan 
  • Kazakhstan 
  • Kiribati 
  • Kosovo 
  • Kuwait 
  • Kyrgyzstan 
  • Laos 
  • Latvia 
  • Lebanon 
  • Liberia 
  • Libya 
  • Liechtenstein 
  • Lithuania 
  • Luxembourg 
  • Macao 
  • Madagascar 
  • Malaysia 
  • Maldives (Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after that, you need to follow the red list rules.)
  • Mali 
  • Malta 
  • Marshall Islands 
  • Martinique 
  • Mauritania 
  • Mauritius 
  • Mayotte 
  • Mexico 
  • Micronesia 
  • Moldova 
  • Monaco 
  • Mongolia 
  • Montenegro 
  • Montserrat 
  • Morocco 
  • Myanmar (Burma) 
  • Nauru 
  • Nepal (Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after that, you need to follow the red list rules.)
  • Netherlands 
  • New Caledonia 
  • New Zealand (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Nicaragua 
  • Niger 
  • Nigeria 
  • North Korea 
  • North Macedonia 
  • Norway 
  • The Occupied Palestinian Territories 
  • Palau 
  • Papua New Guinea 
  • Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands 
  • Poland 
  • Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira) (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Réunion 
  • Romania 
  • Russia 
  • Samoa 
  • San Marino 
  • Sao Tome and Principe 
  • Saudi Arabia 
  • Senegal 
  • Serbia 
  • Sierra Leone 
  • Singapore (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • Slovakia 
  • Slovenia 
  • Solomon Islands 
  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • South Korea 
  • South Sudan 
  • Spain (including the Balearics and Canary Islands) 
  • Sri Lanka 
  • St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Will move from amber to green list 4am, Monday 17 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland before then, you need to follow the amber list rules.)
  • St Kitts and Nevis 
  • St Lucia 
  • St Martin and St Barthélemy 
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines 
  • Sudan 
  • Sweden 
  • Switzerland 
  • Syria 
  • Taiwan 
  • Tajikistan 
  • Thailand 
  • Timor-Leste 
  • Togo 
  • Tonga 
  • Trinidad and Tobago 
  • Tunisia 
  • Turkey (Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after that, you need to follow the red list rules.)
  • Turkmenistan 
  • Turks and Caicos Islands 
  • Tuvalu 
  • Uganda 
  • Ukraine 
  • United States (USA) 
  • Uzbekistan 
  • Vanuatu 
  • Vietnam 
  • Wallis and Futuna 
  • Western Sahara 
  • Yemen

List of Red countries according to UK Government:

  • Angola  
  • Argentina  
  • Bangladesh  
  • Bolivia  
  • Botswana  
  • Brazil  
  • Burundi  
  • Cape Verde  
  • Chile  
  • Colombia  
  • Congo (Democratic Republic)  
  • Ecuador  
  • Eswatini  
  • Ethiopia  
  • French Guiana  
  • Guyana  
  • India  
  • Kenya  
  • Lesotho  
  • Malawi  
  • Maldives (Currently on the amber list. Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after then, you will need to follow the red list rules.)
  • Mozambique  
  • Namibia  
  • Nepal (Currently on the amber list. Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after then, you will need to follow the red list rules.)
  • Oman  
  • Pakistan  
  • Panama  
  • Paraguay  
  • Peru  
  • Philippines  
  • Qatar  
  • Rwanda  
  • Seychelles  
  • Somalia  
  • South Africa  
  • Suriname  
  • Tanzania  
  • Turkey (Currently on the amber list. Will move to the red list 4am, Wednesday 12 May. If you arrive in England or Scotland after then, you will need to follow the red list rules.)
  • United Arab Emirates (UAE)  
  • Uruguay  
  • Venezuela  
  • Zambia  
  • Zimbabwe