Updated 20 July 2021
Lockdown restrictions have been eased across Scotland. Here we look at what that means if you're planning a trip to Shetland this summer.
When can I book a trip to Shetland?
Currently you can travel to Shetland from Scotland and other parts of the UK. This includes travellers from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.
All of Scotland is currently in Level 0 and there are no restrictions on travelling between areas at these levels. Unrestricted travel is allowed within Scotland and overnight stays with family and friends are allowed in line with rules on indoor gatherings.
As ever, the situation can change at any time, so for the latest travel updates, please refer to the Scottish Government guidelines.
Do I need to take a Covid test before I travel?
Those travelling to Shetland and other Scottish islands should take lateral flow tests ahead of their visit. Lateral flow tests are free to order for anyone living in Scotland. To find out more about this and how to order, check the Scottish Government website.
People are requested to take the following precautions before they travel:
- Complete a lateral flow device (LFD) test three days before you travel
- Repeat this again on the day of travel
- Delay your trip and book a PCR test if your LFD test is positive – even if you have no symptoms
- Delay your trip, self-isolate and book a PCR test if you have Covid symptoms (new continuous cough or high temperature or loss/ change in sense of taste or smell).
Can I travel from abroad to Shetland?
The Scottish Government has introduced a risk assessment for international travel similar to the UK Government’s existing ‘traffic light’ system. This means the following requirements for both residents of Scotland on their return and overseas visitors:
- Arrivals from red list countries are required to enter a managed isolation hotel and stay there for 10 days.
- International arrivals from amber list countries, which are the majority of countries, should self-isolate at home (or if a visitor from another country, their accommodation on arrival) for 10 days, and take two PCR tests while they are isolating.
- But, you no longer need to self-isolate if you’re travelling to Scotland from an amber list country and you’ve been fully vaccinated in the UK. ‘Fully vaccinated’ means that you’ve had a full course of a COVID-19 vaccine through the NHS in the UK, and that 14 days have passed since you received your final dose. The changes to the amber list rule for fully UK vaccinated people do not apply to France.
- Arrivals from green list countries are not required to quarantine or isolate on arrival in Scotland, but need to take a PCR test shortly after arrival.
Further information on this process, and details of the countries on each list, is available in the Scottish Government's international travel guidance.
Can I book accommodation in Shetland?
Now Shetland is in Level 0 you can meet socially in groups of up to eight people from four households in self-catering accomodation and stay overnight. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number of people permitted to meet. Note: a bedroom should be occupied by members of only one household (or extended household).
Will shops, hospitality and tourist attractions be open?
Yes, many shops, hospitality businesses and tourist attractions are already open. But, please note, some businesses and tourist attractions have decided to remain closed for the 2021 season or to operate at reduced opening hours. Most places are also reviewing their plans on an ongoing basis as the situation progresses. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you research the things you want to do and places you want to see before you get here. We also advise booking restaurants and visitor attractions in advance, where possible.
General guidance for visitors
While in Shetland follow the Public Health guidance. This includes:
- Wearing a face-covering where required
- Social distancing where required
- Washing hands
- Meeting with others outside, if you can
- Ensuring good ventilation if indoors
- Ensuring you have been vaccinated if eligible
- Doing regular lateral flow tests if you have no symptoms.
If you develop Covid symptoms in Shetland you should immediately self-isolate and book a PCR test via the NHS Shetland website.
Although the vaccine continues to be successfully rolled out across the UK, it is still vitally important that everyone remain vigilant and follows the latest NHS guidelines.
We look forward to welcoming you to Shetland.