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The Scottish government is relaxing its rules for international travelers visiting Scotland, confirming to the British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) that fully-vaccinated travelers no longer have to take pre-departure COVID-19 tests.
The change will benefit Scots returning home from abroad and visitors from non-red list countries. In addition, Scotland will also “align with the UK post-arrival testing regime” but details still must be worked out.
It’s possible the Scottish government, which recently said testing requirements would remain due to public health concerns, was influenced by the Biden Administration’s decision to reopen U.S. travel to Europe.
Scotland’s Transport Secretary, Michael Matheson, said ministers still had concerns, but after talks with the aviation industry they had “reluctantly concluded” that following the UK’s path on testing was the “best option”.
The only stipulation now for fully vaccinated travelers is that they must have been vaccinated in a country that meets “recognized standards of certifications.”
Gordon Dewar, chief executive of Edinburgh Airport, said: “We welcome this decision which will be a huge bonus for Scotland’s travel and tourism sector and will provide some much needed confidence for people who need and want to travel.”
Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Drivetime programme said she was a “little perplexed” at the latest easing of travel restrictions when “we are still right in the middle of this pandemic. I know some of the trends are going in the right direction and it feels as though we are turning a corner. Whether that is a sustained position will depend on us continuing to be vigilant and having protective measures in place. This announcement today is another one being introduced which could have repercussions. I understand why; it is about being practical and signing up to the situation across the UK. But it doesn’t come without risk.”