Travelling to Scotland – What are the Rules and Restrictions?

Millions of tourists flock to Scotland each year, and with our beautiful scenery, inviting culture and fascinating history, we’re not surprised!

 COVID has undoubtedly prevented a lot of visitors coming to experience Scotland the past couple years, and with Scotland following a different COVID plan to the rest of the UK, making plans to visit and follow restrictions can be confusing.

 We’re here to analyse and discuss the most up to date COVID restrictions across Scotland, to keep you assured and on track when planning to visit us. Here are the latest rules and restrictions in Scotland.

 Restrictions on Hospitality


On the 18th of January, the First Minister announced Scotland's Covid restrictions are to be eased, with nightclubs reopening, large indoor events resuming and social distancing rules dropped.


The changes will take effect from Monday 24 January after a "significant fall" in new case numbers.


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs that Scotland had "turned the corner on the Omicron wave".


The rules on visiting hospitality indoor venues are pretty straight forward, and as long as you’re vaccinated shouldn't be a hassle. The following restrictions for hospitality are limited to making sure face coverings are worn when entering venues, visiting the toilet or walking around (not drinking, dancing or dining).


You will be asked to provide details on entry to hospitality venues for the sake of Track and Trace.


Masks are still widely in practice across Scotland. Unlike England, you will be required to wear a mask in shops, in taxi’s, public transport and fines can be enforced if you forget.


Vaccine Passports


The vaccine passport scheme was introduced last year for entry to:


  • Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues
  • Unseated indoor live events with more than 500 people in the audience
  • Unseated outdoor live events for more than 4,000 people
  • Any event, of any nature, attended by more than 10,000 people

Under the scheme, anyone over the age of 18 must show proof - if asked - that they are fully vaccinated, or a negative lateral flow test.

If it is more than four months since your second jab you will need to show proof of a booster to be classed as fully vaccinated. The app has been updated to include boosters.




From the 7th of January 2022, travellers who are fully vaccinated coming into Scotland will no longer need to take pre-departure Covid tests.


If you are not fully vaccinated, you must take a PCR test. You’ll need to take a day 2 PCR test and a day 8 PCR test.


Everyone however, is required to fill out a traveller locater form. This is to be able to locate you if you test positive during or after your visit to Scotland.


There are currently no countries on Scotland’s red list, meaning no one should expect to have to quarantine in a government-mandated hotel on arrival.




  • You must complete the form 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. 


  • Every adult must complete their own form, but you can include any children under 16 who are travelling with you and staying at the same UK address.



  • You must show the form when you check in to travel and board your transport to Scotland.


  • Before you fill out the form, you'll need to have to hand:



    • Passport details of the travel document you'll show at the UK border.
    • Travel details, including times and dates.
    • The UK address you'll be staying at.


There are no specific rules on taking tests before leaving Scotland, but you should check the restrictions in the country you are travelling to - either your own or the next destination on your holiday.


For more information, we’d recommend visiting the government website here.

Final Thoughts

So long as you ensure you’re fully vaccinated and are kept up to date with your booster jag, and remember to fill out your locator form before flying, visiting Scotland will be a hassle free and enjoyable experience. While we can’t promise perfect weather, we can ensure that COVID should not stunt your Scottish experience.


If you want a kilt or tartan accessory so that you blend in with the locals during your visit, be sure to check out our online shop! We’d also love to see your snaps from your trip, be sure to tag us on Instagram and Facebook.