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Old Man of Storr, Isle of Syke
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Are holidays in Scotland allowed?

Hotels and campsites opened on July 15, but the city of Aberdeen has gone back into lockdown

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Around the world, lockdowns are easing and countries are lifting their border restrictions. People from the UK are already free to enter countries like Italy and France, and return home, without facing a 14-day quarantine, but despite that, a lot of people have decided to swerve overseas travel altogether this year. 

One reason for this might be that, although the government have listed a number of countries that you can travel to freely at the moment, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office is still advising ‘against all but essential international travel’.

That could mean we’ll be waiting until 2021 to drink proper sangria on a Spanish beach or sun ourselves in the South of France, but it also means now is the time to explore closer to home. The ideal compromise might be a summer spent discovering the stunning Scottish highlands or the otherworldly islands that are dotted around Scotland’s coast. 

So are holidays in Scotland allowed right now? Yes, holidays in the UK were given the green light in July. 

Man walking down cobbled Edinburgh street
Photograph: Shutterstock

People in Scotland are now allowed to visit second homes and stay in all kinds of holiday accommodation, including hotels and campsites.

Scotland’s pubs and restaurants, museums, galleries and cinemas are all allowed to open too, as long as social distancing and safety procedures are in place. 

If you’re hoping to travel to Scotland from abroad, the Scottish government has announced that visitors from 57 countries are exempt from the UK’s mandatory 14-day quarantine. The list is nearly identical to England’s, but there are some differences so do double check before you book. 

However, if you’re planning a trip to Scotland soon it’s worth noting that Aberdeen is currently subject to a local lockdown. In this area, non-essential journeys are now prohibited again. ‘Our advice to the people of Aberdeen is that you should not be going on holiday right now, either to other parts of Scotland, or to other parts of the UK. We advise against overseas holiday in general for people right across Scotland,’ said First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on August 6, adding: ‘We’re also advising people outside of Aberdeen not to travel to the city for leisure purposes or to visit friends and family.’

Want to know when you can travel overseas? Here’s what we know so far

Planning a camping trip? Here’s where you can wild camp in the UK

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