Edinburgh departures: Faroe Islands, Portugal, Iceland - which Green List countries can I fly to?
Restrictions on overseas travel started to ease on Monday for the whole of Scotland with the exception of Moray and Glasgow.
A ‘traffic light’ system has been introduced, with those travelling to countries on the Green List not requiring to quarantine on their return to Scotland.
Here we look at what countries are on the Green List, which ones can be reached from Edinburgh Airport, and what the Scottish Government’s advice is when it comes to holidays.
What countries are on the Green List?
There are currently 14 countries and territories on the Green List. The countries are: Australia, Brunei, Falkland Islands, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Iceland, Israel, New Zealand, Portugal Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Singapore, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.
Where can I fly to from Edinburgh?
Some of the countries on the list, including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Israel and Brunei, are practically impossible to visit for leisure reasons as they essentially have a travel ban in place for people from Scotland.
Others, including the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, the Falkland Islands, Saint Helena and the South Sandwich Islands, aren’t exactly typical holiday destinations and contain some of the world’s most remote settlements. Simply put, there is no straightforward to get to these islands from Edinburgh.
There are no direct flights to Gibraltar on Spain's south coast either, although it is possible to fly there via a transfer in London.
This leaves Portugal, the Faroe Islands and Iceland – all three of which can be reached by direct flight from Edinburgh Airport.
What are the entry requirements?
Portugal is expected to reopen its doors to Scottish tourists from May 17 but all passengers, excluding children under 24 months, must be in possession of a negative a PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of boarding. A further test will need to be taken on returning to Scotland.
It’s a little more complicated when it comes to the Faroe Islands, with the Danish governments insisting visitors need a “special worthy purpose” to enter, a list of which can be seen on their website. If you can clear this hurdle you will need a negative test up to 72 hours before departure and will be tested again on arrival. Again you will need to be tested again when you return home.
Finally, Iceland is now welcoming visitors who can prove that they are fully vaccinated or have had Covid-19, otherwise you must show a negative PCR test done within 72 hours before departure, and undergo double tests with a five-day quarantine in between. Once again, you’ll have to be tested back home in Scotland.
Should I go on holiday?
While it is now legal to go overseas, the Scottish Government is still urging caution and asking people to consider a Scottish staycation instead.
Nicola Sturgeon said: “We still intend to be highly cautious on international travel, given the risk of new variants, but we consider that the situation now allows us to begin a careful move away from blanket restrictions on non-essential travel. Everyone should think seriously about whether they really need to travel abroad this summer. I know for many people international travel is about family connections. But when it comes to holidays abroad, my advice continues to be to err on the side of caution and to staycation this summer.”