COVID-19 update: Shetland is now reopen to visitors but lockdown restrictions are in place in Aberdeen.
If you're planning a trip, or travelling through Aberdeen, please read our guidance on travelling responsibly.

COVID-19: Latest visitor information

by Promote Shetland -

Updated 5 August 2020

New lockdown restrictions are imposed from today in Aberdeen. The Scottish Government has advised no travel to the city following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Ferries and flights are still operating to and from Aberdeen and Shetland for essential business activities or for medical reasons. If you have a non-essential travel booking to Shetland, visit the NorthLink and Loganair websites for the latest updates and to change your booking, if necessary.

In a statement, the Scottish Government said: “If people are already in Aberdeen visiting family or on holiday then they do not need to leave, but are asked to follow all the guidance and take extra care when returning home."

The current restrictions will be reviewed every seven days. The Scottish Government has not ruled out extending restrictions, if necessary, to protect public health.

What does this mean for people hoping to visit Shetland for a holiday?

We look forward to warmly welcoming you to Shetland but we don't want you to be disappointed. At present, capacity on our ferries still remains restricted. For the latest updates and booking information, please check the NorthLink website.

If you're thinking of flying to Shetland, Loganair are taking bookings. Check the Loganair website for the latest updates and terms of booking.

If you are planning to travel to the UK from overseas, you may need to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days. See the Scottish Government website for more information and for a full list of exempt countries and territories.

If your trip to Shetland involves visiting some of our outlying islands, please note that you will need to book all inter-island ferry journeys in advance. This applies to both car and foot passengers. Visit the Shetland Islands Council Ferry Services website for more information.

The people of Shetland are keen to continue to protect their most vulnerable residents, as well as our visitors. Therefore it goes without saying that if you have any COVID-19 symptoms you must not travel to Shetland. Please help us to keep our community safe.

A few useful guidelines for visitors...

  • Continue to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser in shops and visitor attractions where it is provided.
  • Wear face coverings in all shops and on public transport.
  • Check notices on the doors and windows of shops, visitor attractions, cafes etc., as they may be limiting the number of people they allow in.
  • Use contactless payment in local shops as much as possible.
  • Maintain the 2 metres social distancing guidelines, although this can be reduced to 1 metre on public transport and in retail outlets and indoor and outdoor hospitality venues, where agreed risk mitigation is in place.
  • Enjoy the countryside and open spaces but remember to take all your rubbish with you when you leave.

Please also be aware that even though we're easing out of lockdown, not all visitor attractions, shops and restaurants will be reopening as normal. If there's something that you'd particularly like to see or do during your trip, please check ahead whether this is feasible to avoid disappointment.

Medical advice

COVID-19 can cause respiratory illness of varying severity. Currently, there is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection with the virus, so it’s important that the public be vigilant and follow NHS guidelines.

To keep up to date with the latest news on the virus and what to do if you think you may be a carrier, visit the NHS Inform website.

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