New countries were added to Scotland’s quarantine list last night, including Austria, Croatia, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago.
And holidaymakers returning from Portugal will now no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days.
The decision was announced by the Scottish Government on Thursday evening.
Speaking about the new quarantine rules for travellers returning to Scotland during her daily press briefing on Friday, the First Minister said there had been a “significant rise” in the number of coronavirus cases in the four countries that have been added to the list.
She said: “These changes are a further reminder of how quickly the international situation can and is changing at the moment.”
She warned that caution should be taken when considering booking a holiday abroad, as the rules may change at short notice, meaning that those returning will have to self-isolate for 14 days.
Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the decision had not been taken “lightly”.
He said: “We cannot emphasise enough that if people choose to travel abroad, they must be aware that quarantine requirements may change while they are away. The same can be said for the rules within the country or territory people are travelling to.
“If people do travel from any country that is not exempt from the requirements, they will be required to quarantine for 14 days on return, please check the Scottish Government website for more information on what this means.
“Indeed, wherever people have travelled from – an exempt country or not – they must complete a Passenger Locator Form and provide it to Border Force officials. Failure to do so can also result in a fine since this, along with any failure to self-isolate where required, poses a significant risk to wider public health across Scotland.
If returning to Scotland from Austria, Croatia, Switzerland & Trinidad & Tobago you will have to self-isolate for 14days.
If returning from Portugal you will *no longer* need to self-isolate for 14days.
Above applies to Scotland, all changes come into effect 4am Sat 22nd August
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) August 20, 2020
“We continue to closely monitor the situation in all parts of the world and assess the scientific evidence. We remain in regular discussions with the other three governments in the UK and base decisions on a shared understanding of the available data.
“However, we will not hesitate to take the action we consider necessary to safeguard public health in Scotland recognising, that the level of risk across the four nations may lead to different decisions.
“As I have said previously, we do not make these decisions lightly, but suppressing the virus and protecting public health is vital.”
All changes will come into effect at 4am this Saturday.
It is thought around 20,000 British tourists are currently in Croatia.
The Portuguese government welcomed the changes as “useful for all those who travel between Portugal and the United Kingdom”.
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