The Scottish government has confirmed it will require all international arrivals to quarantine in managed hotels from February 15 to tackle the spread of Covid-19.
Six hotels close to Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow airports, with a combined capacity of 1,300 rooms, will be used to implement the quarantine at a cost of £1,750 per individual traveller.
The news followed the announcement by UK health secretary that arrivals the England from 33 Covid hotspots will have to quarantine in hotels from February 15.
Scotland’s transport secretary Michael Matheson said: “To manage the risk of importing new variants, and to give vaccine deployment the best chance of bringing us closer to normality here in Scotland, we have to place further limits on international travel.
“The UK government has only committed to adopting this for travellers returning from ‘red list’ countries. However, we know that is not sufficient and we will go further.
“The clinical advice is clear that a comprehensive system of managed quarantine is essential to minimise the impact of new Covid-19 variants.”
All arrivals to Scotland from outside the Common Travel Area with Ireland must book and pay for their managed isolation in quarantine hotels.
Final costs for those not travelling alone are currently being looked at, as well as the details for a Managed Isolation Welfare Fund which will be launched for those who cannot afford the charge.
All arrivals must quarantine for at least 10 days and will be tested twice for the virus – once on day two and once on day eight after arrival.
Existing travel exemptions will be strengthened, including limiting overseas training for elite sportspeople to athletes and coaches preparing for the Olympics and Paralympics.
A small number of arrivals will not be required to isolate, such as those involved in essential supply chains for goods coming into Scotland.
All non-essential international travel is not permitted.
The Scottish government will also create an aviation working group to address the issues the sector is facing.
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