International travellers to Scotland can use private Covid-19 tests

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International travellers to Scotland will be able to use private sector Covid-19 tests.

People will be able to use private sector tests when returning to Scotland, or visiting, from green or amber list countries under a change to international travel restrictions.

The step will allow people to choose from a list of approved providers when booking the tests they will need to take after arriving in Scotland.

People previously had to book NHS home PCR tests via the UK Government’s booking portal.

The opportunity to ease the restriction – which will come into effect in early September – has been made possible by enhanced monitoring of the performance and reliability of private testing providers to ensure public health safeguards are maintained. There is also the additional safeguard of removing any provider that does not meet stringent performance measures.

Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care Humza Yousaf said, “The step provides more choice and flexibility for travellers and will provide a boost for the tourism and aviation sector.

“We have had regular engagement with the UK Government to understand the measures being taken to ensure test results will be communicated rapidly and reliably to both individuals and to contact tracing services.

“We have also been reassured that any positive results will be genomically sequenced to quickly identify any variants of concern.

“The decision carefully weighs the benefit to the travel sector against our responsibility to the wider public health, and is a further endorsement of the resounding success of our domestic vaccination roll out.”


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Written by

Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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