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Old Man of Storr, Isle of Syke
Photograph: Shutterstock

When will we be allowed to visit Scotland again?

Some holidays in Scotland will be allowed from July 3 with more restrictions lifting on July 15


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 without quarantine, but despite that, international travel does still feel a way off. 

Two fairly good reasons for that are that anyone entering the UK at the moment is subject to a 14-day quarantine period, and that includes British nationals returning from trips abroad. Also, while the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recently updated its guidance around travel, the current line is that British people are still advised ‘against all but essential international travel’.

That might mean we have to wait a little longer 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? 

Well, no. Day trips from London have the green light, but because the lockdown rules in Scotland right now are different from those elsewhere in the UK, people from England would be breaching the rules by even entering Scotland for a stroll. Whereas the English are allowed to travel as far as they fancy for a walk or to enjoy the countryside, the advice in Scotland is that you can spend time outside but only within five miles of your home. Also, at the moment, holidays in the UK are currently not allowed, as all overnight stays are banned. 

Man walking down cobbled Edinburgh street
Photograph: Shutterstock


However that’s all about to change. Hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation in England will officially be allowed to host stays from July 4, in line with the government’s Our Plan to Rebuild document. English campsites are allowed to open for the summer from the same date.

Scotland is working to a slightly different, but similar, timeline. The country’s travel distance restriction is set to lift on July 3, and people will be allowed to visit second homes or stay in self-catering accommodation, provided there are no shared facilities, from the same day. 

Stays in all kinds of holiday accommodation, including hotels and campsites, will be permitted from July 15.

The easing of rules on this date will also extend to Scotland’s pubs and restaurants, museums, galleries and cinemas, as long as social distancing and safety procedures are in place. 

These dates are still provisional, so we’ll keep you updated as changes are announced. And in the meantime, our fingers are firmly crossed and frantically googling stunning Scottish cabins like this one on the Isle of Skye

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

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