Scotland’s travel restrictions to and from most of Republic of Ireland are going to be lifted from today evening. The changes outlined in the Scottish Parliament follow a reduction in the number of Covid cases across most of the country, excluding Donegal. Non-essential travel between Scotland and Jersey will be banned following a significant increase in cases there.
Travel restrictions remain in place between Scotland and England, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The Scottish government said the continued ban on travel to the other three parts of the UK, except for essential reasons, follow its latest review, which found the prevalence of the virus continued to be higher than in Scotland and importation risks remain high. The changes for Ireland and Jersey will take effect from today evening.
However, the Scottish government has said infection rates in the north western county of Donegal remain high and people should not travel there. Irish quarantine restrictions will apply to anyone arriving from anywhere in the UK.
The changes come as more than two million people are to be moved from Scotland’s toughest Covid lockdown restrictions to level three – very high from today.
The Scottish government advises against non-essential foreign travel, and people arriving from certain countries must spend two weeks in quarantine. Scotland’s transport secretary Michael Matheson said travel restrictions were key to helping reduce the spread of Covid-19 between countries.
“That is why we are introducing a temporary ban on non-essential travel to and from Jersey, as well as maintaining the restrictions on travel with the rest of the UK,” he said.
“The Scottish government’s clinical advisers have carefully considered the potential public health impact and assessed the risk of importation of Covid-19 from Ireland as a whole to be no longer high. But there remains a specific risk in relation to travel to and from Donegal. While our ban is being lifted for travel to and from most of Ireland, clearly the virus and its threat to public health have not gone away. Those intent on travelling should be aware that Irish quarantine restrictions will apply to anyone arriving from anywhere in Great Britain, so they should also follow the advice in that country. Our firm advice continues to be that non-essential travel – whether domestic or international – should not be undertaken at this time,” he added.