Where Can Scots Travel Abroad?

*Plane ticket prices and average travel insurance premiums are based on a 30 years old couple flying from UK to the destination for one week, at the end of July. Insurance premium is for a 10K medical cover and 5K travel cancellation and disruption protection (including COVID-19 cover).

The UK government regularly updates its advice on all international travel, with the The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) publishing a list of countries and territories exempted from the ‘all but essential’ international travel list.

At the same time, on the way back home, the Scottish government maintains a list of countries and territories from which anybody coming from has to observe a 14 days quarantine upon return into Scotland. Only the countries and territories are listed below are exempted from such restrictions.

Please note that this map is updated on a weekly basis and some new lockdown measures may not appear yet. Last update 23th of October.

What are the latest Scottish government updates against all but essential travel?

The Scottish Government publishes the list of countries where Scottish citizens may go or not during the covid-19 pandemic period. If you are planning a trip abroad, you should consult this list, which will be updated following the pandemic situation developments.

Be careful though, although Scottish government advises that you are free to go in any of the deep blue destination listed on the map, there is no guarantee that the country will let you in. For any update on your summer travel destination, check the Scottish government website.

Which countries are exempt from the ‘all but essential’ Scottish government list?

After COVID-19 summer holidays, which destination to opt for?

The Scottish Government has updated its list of countries exempted from the ‘all but essential’ international travel restriction for travelers from the UK. With the pandemics still virulent in Africa, Central Asia and America, there are still many countries unaccessible for the Scots:

  • The great majority of European countries are now out of the ‘all but essential’ destinations listed by the Scottish Government. However, travelling to Portugal mainland, some countries of South East Europe, and now Spain, Belgium and Andorra is still discouraged by the authorities.
  • As for the Americas, travelling to South America, Canada or in the United States is strongly discouraged by the Scottish government.
  • With Central Asia being at the heart of the pandemic, you will have to consider South East Asia if you wish to travel that far. Vietnam or Hong Kong are now considered safe by the Scottish government, as well as South Korea and Japan. New Zealand, New Caledonia or Australia are also exempt from the list.
  • The access to the entire African continent is discouraged by the Scottish Government – except the Reunion or Mauritius Islands.

However, many of these countries are still concerned about restriction rules upon entry enforced by the local authorities, which considerably complicate any travel to those destinations.

Why getting a travel insurance is so important this summer?

Getting a travel insurance has never been so important. Indeed, with Covid-19 lockdown and travel ban, people have lost thousands of pounds seeing their annual holiday plan cancelled with no chance to get refund without any travel insurance purchased.

However, you should definitely pick the right travel insurance cover. While the worldwide situation remaining unstable, we would definitely advise you to pick between one of the two travel insurance options:

  • “Any cancellation reason” travel insurance: it usually comes at a certain prices (between 10 to 12% of your stay), but you will get total refund in case something comes up, including a worldwide pandemic.
  • “Named perils”, being sure that “pandemic” is named as a potential peril (usually 7 to 9% of your stay budget).

Cancellation reason for natural disaster DOES NOT include pandemic as a valid reason.

Which travel insurers cover pandemic crisis?

First of all, one must be aware that the world currently goes through a fast-changing period regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and its evolution in time. This may impact the travel insurance policies proposed by the companies, so you should always carefully check your cover before going.

  • On the first hand, some travel insurers propose a cancellation cover, in case your journey would be impossible due to the Covid-19 pandemic. With the uncertainty about the possibility of a “second wave” to happen, such guarantees can be desirable.
  • On the second hand, most of the travel insurance companies are now proposing medical and repatriation cover, in case you get contaminated by the Covid-19 during your holidays abroad. Of course, this will naturally increase the price you will have to pay, but that is undoubtedly an important security regarding the cost that can represent a stay in an hospital and a repatriation by plane.
  • “Leading ABI travel insurance members will look to extend cover for emergency medical treatment for up to a minimum of 60 days for customers stuck overseas and trying to return home”, said the ABI on a recent release.

Insurers like insurefor.com or Allclear now offer specific medical and cancellation cover including any reason related to COVID-19. Compare all travel insurances including COVID-19 cover (or not) in one clic on our comparison tool.

How much is travel insurance covering COVID-19 travel disruption?

Travel insurance premium for EuropeTravel insurance premium for AustraliaTravel insurance premium for any part of the world
30 years old couple
1 week travel
£10K medical cover
£5K cancellation cover
£25,60£89,70£139,00
Travel insurance premium for pandemic cover

Our methodology

Please note that the above-mentioned information is accurate at the date it is published. For getting the most up to date information, you shall consult the FCO website before planning your journey abroad and purchasing your travel insurance. All our studies are based on reliable information sourced from public and privates organizations. For further information on our editorial guidelines please click here.

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4 comments on "Where Can Scots Travel Abroad?"
Eddie burnett, on August 11, 2020

Can my wife and myself travel to Prague end of October 20 for 4 nights without any restrictions either In Czech Republic or back home here in Scotland

Reply
Alexandre desoutter, on August 12, 2020

Dear Eddie,

As for now (the 12th of August), there are no restrictions in place on entering the Czech Republic if you are travelling from the UK. In the other way, the Czech Republic is still on the Scottish government countries list exempted from compulsory quarantine upon return into Scotland. However, it has been observed on the last 7 days a rise in coronavirus cases in the Czech Republic. Therefore, the situation may evolve rapidly, and it is possible that you would not be able to achieve the trip you are planning at the end of October. You should therefore check the Scottish government travel advice on a weekly basis, and be precautious before booking your tickets.
Best regards,

The Hello-safe.co.uk team

Reply
Katie k, on August 17, 2020

Hi, I am booking a trip to Scotland and just wanted to check that if I am travelling from London I would not need to quarantine on arrival in Scotland?

Reply
Alexandre desoutter, on August 18, 2020

Dear Katie,
Thanks for your message. If you are not coming from an English area concerned by very local lockdown measures (as in Leicester and other areas in North West England), you do not have to self isolate upon arrival into Scotland.
We hope this is clearer for you now :)
Best regards,
The Hello-safe.co.uk team

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