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

Hotels and B&Bs are open in places, but there are currently strict travel restrictions across parts of Scotland

Ellie Walker-Arnott

Around the world, travel rules and border restrictions continue to change. People from the UK are currently free to enter some countries like Greece, 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 pack hand luggage, but it also means now is the time to explore closer to home. The ideal compromise might be a trip 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

However, if you’re planning a trip to Scotland soon it’s worth noting that there are restrictions in place that could affect your travels. 

From November 2, Scotland will enter a new five tier system (Levels 0 - 4). Level 0 is the level with the least restrictions, though no areas are currently in this tier. 

Accommodation options are open in Level 1 and Level 2 areas, though people are currently not allowed to visit other households indoors. That means you can’t travel to Scotland to stay in a friend’s house, for example. In Level 2 areas, restaurants, cafes, bars, public houses must only serve alcohol with a main meal and indoor premises must close by 8pm. 

In Level 3 areas, accommodation is open but must only be used by people local to the area, while all tourism-related businesses must close in Level 4 areas. 

Areas currently in Level 3 or above include: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Clackmannanshire, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East DunbartonshireEast Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Falkirk, InverclydeMidlothian, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Renfrewshire, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire and West Lothian. 

There isn’t a national travel ban in place during this time but non-essential travel in and out of Level 3 or higher areas in Scotland (and equivalents in rest of UK) is banned. So it’s worth considering that before you travel – especially if sipping whisky in an Edinburgh boozer was high on your to-do list. 

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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