Updated 12 May 2021
Lockdown restrictions have been eased across Scotland. Here we look at what that means if you’re planning a trip to Shetland this summer.
When can I book a trip to Shetland?
Currently you can travel to Shetland from Scotland and other parts of the UK. This includes travellers from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man.
From 17 May, Shetland, and most other island communities in Scotland, will move down to Level 1, while most of mainland Scotland will move to Level 2. Unrestricted travel will be allowed within Scotland (with the possible exception of Moray) and overnight stays with family and friends will be allowed in line with rules on indoor gatherings.
People must not travel to places in Level 0, 1, or 2 areas if they are from a Level 3 or 4 area, except for essential purposes.
As ever, the situation can change at any time, so for the latest travel updates, please refer to the Scottish Government guidelines.
For travel information to the isles, please see the NorthLink and Loganairwebsites for the latest ferry and air travel updates.
Do I need to take a Covid test before I travel?
Those travelling to Shetland and other Scottish islands are being encouraged to take lateral flow tests ahead of their visit – one three days before and one on the day. If a positive result is returned from the initial test people are encouraged to take a more sensitive PCR test before making a final decision on whether to cancel their visit.
Lateral flow tests will be free to order for anyone living in Scotland from 26 April. To find out more about this and how to order, check the Scottish Government website.
Will shops, hospitality and tourist attractions be open?
Yes, many shops, hospitality businesses and tourist attractions are already open. But, please note, some businesses and tourist attractions have decided to remain closed for the 2021 season or to operate at reduced opening hours. Most places are also reviewing their plans on an ongoing basis as the situation progresses. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you research the things you want to do and places you want to see before you get here. We also advise booking restaurants and visitor attractions in advance, where possible.
General guidance for visitors
- Continue to wash your hands regularly and use hand sanitiser in shops and visitor attractions where it is provided.
- Wear face coverings in all shops and on public transport. You must also wear face coverings in pubs, cafes and restaurants when not seated at your table.
- Check notices on the doors and windows of shops, visitor attractions, cafes etc., as they may be limiting the number of people they allow in.
- Use contactless payment in local shops as much as possible.
- Maintain the 2 metres social distancing guidelines, although this can be reduced to 1 metre on public transport and in retail outlets and indoor and outdoor hospitality venues, where agreed risk mitigation is in place.
Although the vaccine continues to be successfully rolled out across the UK, it is still vitally important that everyone remain vigilant and follows the latest NHS guidelines.
We look forward to welcoming you back to Shetland.