Updated 8 October 2020
When travelling to and from work, please follow these steps for your own safety and the safety of others.
- Stay at home if you or anyone in your household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms (new continuous dry cough, fever or the loss of or a change in your sense of smell or taste) or if you are self-isolating
- Consider walking or cycling, if you can, to reduce pressure on the road network and on public transport where capacity will be limited
- Plan your journey and leave additional time due to temporary restrictions or changes to previous timetables or schedules
- Pay for your journey online, use smart ticketing, the operator’s mobile app, or contactless payment, if you can, to reduce cash handling
- Comply with any signage or instructions on public transport or from transport staff as the safety measures in place are for everyone’s benefit
- When travelling on public transport or in a taxi or private hire vehicle or when you are in a bus or railway station, enclosed ferry terminal or airport you must wear a face covering
- Keep yourself and others safe by maintaining the 2 metre physical distance rule
- Where impossible to maintain 2 metre distancing, avoid physical contact and face away from others, keep the time you spend within 2 metres of others as short as possible
- Be considerate of the impact of restrictions on the needs of fellow passengers who may have impairments, disabilities or mobility issues
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after every transport journey.
Further advice on travelling to and from work safely, including using public transport is available from Transport Scotland.
Car/vehicle sharing and giving lifts
You should only share a vehicle with those from your household or extended household. If you have no other option, you should follow the safe travel guidance at the Transport Scotland website which provides advice on how to share vehicles safely. Carers and those they provide unpaid care for can travel together but they should follow that advice.
Travelling around Scotland
You can travel anywhere within Scotland, unless there are local restrictions in place advising you not to do so. You should follow the general guidance on staying safe and seeing friends and family.
Everyone using public transport in Scotland must wear a face covering. Some people don’t have to wear a face covering including for age, health, or disability reasons.
For further advice and guidance see Transport Scotland’s website: advice on travelling safely within Scotland.
Returning from travel overseas
As of Monday 8 June, residents and visitors entering the UK are subject to new measures due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Under these rules you will:
- need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK
- not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolating’).
These measures are being brought in across the UK, with some small changes to how they are implemented across the different nations within the UK. You will be expected to follow and adhere to the Scottish rules and the guidance when the final destination is Scotland.
The regulations apply to people who live in Scotland and who are returning from out with the UK as well as to people visiting Scotland.
From 10 July 2020, unless you have visited or transited through any non-exempt country or territory in the preceding 14 days, passengers arriving from these countries and territories will not be required to self-isolate on arrival in Scotland. Passengers arriving from these countries will still be required to complete the online passenger locator form prior to travel and to supply contact details, travel details and the address of the final destination where they will be staying.
For more information on what you are required to do when returning to Scotland and any countries who are exempt from these restrictions, please visit the Scottish Government advice pages. It is important to note that advice, restrictions and exempted countries may be different in Scotland to the other UK nations and the list of exempted countries may change at any time.
Where you need to self-isolate, see the stay at home guidance. for information on how to do this.
The FCO advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide with exemptions for travelling to certain countries that no longer pose a high risk for British travellers. You should not travel abroad unless it is essential or to one of the countries on the UK exempt list. These exemptions came into effect on 4 July and remain under constant review to take into account the latest situation in each country. Whilst the FCO may not advise against travel to certain countries, these may not be exempt from from quarantine requirements in Scotland and you are still required to follow the advice from the Scottish Government on your return.
The FCO may also advise against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to coronavirus. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.
Read more on the links below:
Leave arrangements in place where you are required to self isolate.
Where a period of overseas travel is planned and working from home is possible or can be accommodated to cover any required self-isolation period, this can be agreed between the employee and manager, taking into consideration any impact on service delivery. This should be discussed your manager when arranging any overseas travel.
Where a period of overseas travel is planned and working from home is not possible to cover any required self-isolation period, the employee and manager should agree either the use of annual leave/flexi leave/TOIL/working back hours or approved unpaid leave (or a combination of these) to cover the period of self-isolation, taking into consideration any impact on service delivery.
Exemptions from these rules are still limited, particularly where the final destination is in Scotland and it is therefore likely that many employees would be required to self-isolate if returning to the UK from overseas. The self-isolation rules specifically instruct people not to attend work during this time.
Common Travel Area
Those who have arrived from the Common Travel Area (the CTA includes Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man) and spent less than 14 days there, are also required to follow the above rules. Those who have spent longer than 14 days in the CTA immediately before their arrival, do not need to complete the form or self-isolate.
Scotland currently follows different arrangements from other UK nations in relation to proposed travel corridors. Please ensure you check the Scottish Government advice pages for the most up to date information regarding travel to Scotland and any exempted countries.
Self-isolation means you should remain at home and should not go to work, school, public areas or use public transport. You should not go out to buy food or other essentials. You must stay at home.
While you are self-isolating, you should:
- stay at least 2 metres (6 feet, or 3 steps) away from other people in your home
- stay in a different room from other people in your home, ensuring it is well-ventilated
- sleep alone in a separate bed
- spend as little time as possible in shared areas (sitting room, kitchen, bathroom)
- avoid using your kitchen while others are present
- use a separate towel to dry your hands after you wash them; and
- clean your kitchen, bathroom and other surfaces throughout the house every day
You should always:
- wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds regularly, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands aren’t visibly dirty
- catch your coughs or sneezes in a disposable tissue and put it in the bin, or catch them in the crook of your elbow; and
- avoid touching your face, and especially your mouth, nose or eyes
It will be helpful to think about who you could ask for help to make sure you can stay at home and self-isolate successfully, such as your family, friends or neighbours who could collect food or medicines for you. You can also often arrange to have repeat prescriptions delivered, and retailers can offer deliveries of food and other essentials.
Further information on Self-isolating advice and support that can be accessed is available on the Scottish Government Website
Please discuss your plans with your manager at the earliest opportunity. The impact of any self-isolation period should be factored into any agreement to approve leave where a period of overseas travel is planned. You should also consider the possibility that a period of self-isolation may be required on your return (even if this is not currently the case) and agree with your manager how a period of self-isolation might be accommodated.
Please ensure you follow the latest advice from both the FCO and the Scottish Government both prior to and during your trip to ensure you are fully aware what the arrangements are for returning to the UK. The arrangements may change at short notice and may be dependent on the country you travel to and any differences between Scotland and the rest of the UK. You should make your manager aware of any changes that may impact your return to work after your period of travel as soon as possible.
The FCO provides a useful guide to planning your travel amidst the current uncertain environment.
You are still required to follow the advice from the Scottish Government on your return to Scotland. Travellers arriving into Scotland via an English port or airport, or direct to the country, will still need to quarantine if they have been in a country which is not on the Scottish Government’s exemption list in the last 14 days prior to arrival.
You should follow the UK government advice while travelling through England. You may need to refer to the relevant government advice for Wales and Northern Ireland, if this differs from UK advice.
You are still required to follow the advice from the Scottish Government on your return to Scotland. If any country you have visited in the last 14 days is not listed in the Scottish Government’s list of exemptions, you will be required to self-isolate on your return to Scotland.
You are still required to follow the advice from the Scottish Government on your return to Scotland. If any country you have visited in the last 14 days is NOT listed in the Scottish Government’s list of exemptions, you will be required to self-isolate on your return to Scotland.
Where leave was already approved prior to self-isolation arrangements being implicated and working from home is possible (including the consideration of alternative tasks), this should be accommodated wherever possible, to cover the 14 day period of self-isolation.
Where leave was booked for overseas travel prior to self-isolation arrangements being put in place and working from home is not possible, you and your manager should agree the use of annual leave/flexi/TOIL/working back hours or approved unpaid leave (or a combination of these).
Paid special leave will only be considered where it is not possible to work at home or work back hours, a proportionate amount of annual leave has been used, and other leave (such as TOIL, unpaid leave, etc) cannot be accommodated. This is expected to apply only in very limited circumstances and will be considered on a case by case basis.
Teachers and Music Instructors who have pre-booked holidays prior to the announcement of quarantine arrangements and who may be required to self-isolate after travelling abroad will be required to work from home during any isolation period. This is in line with the SNCT circular issued.
Those who arrived in Scotland from outwith the Common Travel Area before 10 July must still complete 14 days of self-isolation.