Those returning to Scotland will now have to self-isolate in ‘quarantine hotels’.
It was recently announced that all international travellers would need to provide a negative Covid-19 test in order to enter the UK. In another attempt to limit the spread of new coronavirus strains, the Scottish government has also introduced a ‘quarantine hotel’ system. From February 15, those returning to Scotland from ‘red list’ countries will have to pay £1,750 to self-isolate in a government-appointed hotel for 10 days.
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A ‘quarantine package’ must be purchased online by all travellers heading to Scotland through a booking system which will go live later this week. The package includes the hotel stay, transport to the hotel, and Covid-19 tests, all of which will come under the £1,750 required fee.
As it stands, this new system only applies to arrivals in Scotland, as England announced that this fee would only apply to those arriving from countries on their ‘red list’. In theory, that means travellers from other countries could avoid quarantine in Scotland by flying to an English airport, then crossing the border into Scotland by road or rail.
Matheson also told Holyrood that there would be some exemptions to the hotel quarantine system, “A very small number of arrivals will be not be required to isolate, for example in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland, foreign diplomats and essential defence activities.
“We are also tightening some of our existing exemptions further. This will include limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.”