Coronavirus Advice for Travellers to the South of Scotland

by Scotland Starts Here, 19th March 2020
Loch Trool
Coronavirus Advice for Travellers to the South of Scotland

Last updated: Monday, 6 December 2021

Please check below for official Scottish and UK guidance on COVID-19 (coronavirus) for travellers, as well as resources for travelling safely to and within Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders. The health and safety of visitors and residents is of paramount importance, and we want to share ongoing advice.

Key Information

  • New requirements for those travellers arriving directly to Scotland from countries other than UK and Ireland:
    • If you’re aged 12 or over, and due to arrive in Scotland from 4am on Tuesday 7 December, you’ll need to be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR or lateral flow test. You’ll need to have taken this test in the 2 days before you’re due to depart for Scotland.
    • If you’re aged 18 or over, you need to isolate at home, or in the place you’re staying, as soon as you arrive. You can only stop isolating if you receive a negative test result from your day 2 PCR test.
  • Check directly with venues, businesses and attractions for up to date information on closures and restrictions, as there may be disruptions.
  • The latest information on COVID-19 can be found on the Scottish Government website 
  • Travellers already in the UK who need medical advice can use the 111 online service to get further information
  • Covid Vaccination certificates are required for entry to large events and nightclubs – see below for further info

Will coronavirus impact my travels to the South of Scotland? 

New restrictions have been imposed following concern about the Omicron varient. They currently affect travellers arriving from outside the UK and Ireland.

Check below for further details on current restrictions in the South of Scotland. Restrictions for all of Scotland will be reassessed regularly, and additional guidelines may be introduced. Restrictions for areas outwith the South of Scotland are available on the Scottish Government website

Retail and hospitality businesses across Scotland are opening, and travel across the country is allowed. Keep in mind that businesses may set an individual reopening schedule, revise their opening times or introduce a reduced offer. Always check ahead and, where possible, pre-book before travelling. 

Stay informed. Here’s what you need to know:

Social distancing:

  • There are no requirements for social distancing.

Group sizes:

  • There are no restrictions on group sizes in indoor or outdoor settings.

Face coverings:

  • Face coverings should be worn in indoor public spaces such as shops, on public transport and in tourism and hospitality spaces when not sitting down for food and drink. 
  • There are exceptions for some health conditions and children under 5. 

Events & requirement for COVID Vaccine certificate:

As of 1st October COVID vaccine certificates are needed to get into the following unless you are under 18, exempt from vaccination for health reasons or participating in vaccine trial:

  • late night premises with music, which serve alcohol at any time between midnight and 5am and have a designated place for dancing for customers
  • indoor events (unseated) with 500 or more people
  • outdoor events (unseated) with 4,000 or more people
  • any event with more than 10,000 people

What’s open:

All businesses can open. Food & drink businesses will still take your contact details for track and trace. There are no restrictions for businesses on opening or closing times, and this also applies to operators and businesses in the Scottish tourism industry. Non-essential travel is allowed across Scotland and the UK, but travel restrictions may be introduced if required. Whatever your plans, please make sure you stay safe and follow official Covid guidelines as well as businesses’ individual Covid guidelines.

  • Accommodation: Open
  • Food & Drink: Cafés, restaurants, pubs and bars are open.
  • Attractions: Open

When you travel:

  • Know before you go: Follow guidance from the government and individual businesses. Check directly with businesses for restrictions and guidance before you travel.
  • Download the Protect Scotland app for free from the App Store or Google Play Store. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another user who has tested positive for coronavirus. As it works anonymously through Bluetooth, your privacy is protected.
  • Look out for the Good to Go scheme logo. It shows if a business has carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment. Businesses will also be able to tell you what safety measure will be in place when you visit.
  • Respect, Protect, Enjoy: Please be considerate of local communities when travelling. Protect yourself and others by following health and safety guidelines. Support your local tourism industry and consider exploring off the beaten path if a place gets too busy.
  • If you explore the outdoors, whether on foot, by bike, or even on the water, please respect our landscapes. The Scottish Outdoor Access Code applies all year-round and offers great advice on how to enjoy our places safely.

If you develop symptoms:

  • If you develop Covid-19 symptoms while travelling Scotland, please self-isolate in your accommodation and follow the advice from the Scottish Government.

Travel to Scotland from abroad

There is a new red list for arrivals from outside the UK, which is now in operation with testing and quarantine measures in place. As a result of the Omicron variant the requirements with regards to testing and quarantine for those arriving from non-red countries has also changed. Check what testing and restrictions apply to you, as it may depend on your vaccination status.

When travelling to and around Scotland, you may encounter transport disruptions or new guidelines. Check with your car rental company for any additional information you may need. Further information and current schedules for public transport networks in the Lothians, the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway are available from ScotRail, Lothian Buses, Borders Buses and Dumfries & Galloway Council

Always make sure you stay up to date with the latest official government advice.

Further Information

  • We must all do our part in preventing the transmission of COVID-19, and it is crucial to follow guidance on preventative measures. Visit the NHS website for information on how to keep yourself and others safe, as well as frequently asked questions. 
  • Up to date advice for tourism businesses is available through the Scottish Tourism Association (STA) and VisitScotland. SSDA are also offering support to businesses in Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders.
  • Visit the official UK government website for additional up to date information on safety measures, support for businesses and advice for travellers.