International travellers to enter ‘managed quarantine’ from Monday

Addressing the Scottish parliament today, the Scottish Transport Minister Michael Matheson announced that from Monday 15th February all international travellers flying directly into Scotland will have to quarantine in hotels for 10 days.

He said that this measure would ensure that new strains of the virus would not “undermine” the vaccination roll out in Scotland and to give vaccine deployment the best possible chance of allowing a return to normalcy.

His announcement came after Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health, announced today that travellers from 33 ‘high-risk’ countries would be required to isolate for 10 days in hotels in the rest of the UK.

But Matheson denounced this targeted approach as “not sufficient” and said that he “believed that all international travellers” should be required to enter managed isolation in hotels.

He added that the Scottish government will continue to urge the UK government to further tighten the restrictions on international travel across the rest of the UK.

Passengers flying into Scotland from abroad will be required to book a hotel room via a common online portal, that will go live on Thursday.

The total cost for the 10 day managed isolation will be £1,750, which includes the cost of tests which international travellers will be required to take on day two and eight of their managed isolation.

Matheson stated that a welfare fund would be made available for those that could not afford the £1,750 cost.

His announcement comes as the UK government scrambles to stop the spread of a South-African variant of the virus, which is thought to be more resistant to the vaccines currently being rolled out across the country.

Currently the Scottish government has no plans to make international students travelling into Scotland for education reasons exempt from the managed quarantine policy.

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