The streamlined system merges the Amber and Green Lists and retains the Red List.

The system of international traffic light restrictions put in place to protect public health needs to be significantly overhauled to make it simpler for travelers.

The green and orange classifications will merge, but the red list will be retained for countries deemed to have high COVID19 case rates or variants of concern.

Among other countries, Turkey, Egypt and the Maldives will all be removed from the red list starting at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, September 22.

The current orange tier restrictions will become the default for travelers from non-red countries, with fully vaccinated eligible travelers eligible for non-quarantine travel.

The number of countries recognized in the eligible vaccinated travelers policy (currently only UK, EU / EFTA and US), is being expanded to recognize countries where vaccine certification meets requirements. appropriate standards.

These include Canada, Australia, Israel and New Zealand – which will open from October 4 – when the current traffic light system officially ends.

The Scottish government recently relaxed the rules, allowing people traveling from countries not on the red list to choose from a variety of private test providers.

A UK government decision to implement proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test in England and to use side flow testing on the second day has not been adopted at this point in Scotland due significant concerns about the impact on public health.

Screening international travelers, before and after travel, is an important part of our border health surveillance to minimize the risk of importing variants of concern.

The Scottish government aims to maintain a four-nation approach to international travel restrictions, but will need to carefully consider the risks associated with alignment with the UK government.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said the simplification of the system recognizes the success of global immunization programs.

He said: ‘This is a major milestone, but with reasonable safeguards built to recognize the success of the Scottish Government’s vaccination program.

“The extension of the eligible vaccinated travelers policy, combined with changes to the traffic light system, will give a welcome boost to the Scottish tourism industry.

“However, we are concerned that the UK government’s proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test for some travelers will weaken our ability to protect the public health of Scottish communities. While we wish to maintain a four-nation approach to these issues, we urgently need to consider their implications. “


People can now use the private sector tests where they are now required when returning to Scotland. The step allows people to choose from a list of approved vendors which can be found on the website.

The countries removed from the red list as of 4 a.m. on September 22 are:

  • Bangladesh
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Maldives
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkey

The countries added to the eligible vaccinated travelers policy as of October 4 are:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Taiwan
  • Dominica
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain

Following a review, the existing travel regulations were consolidated, with minor modifications, into a single instrument. The Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel and Operator Liability) Regulation 2021 (Scotland) comes into force on Monday, September 20, replacing the existing regulation. The policy and requirements for travelers remain the same with this change.

Read more: International travel guide