THE SCOTTISH Government plans to merge the green and amber travel lists to "streamline" restrictions — but falls short of matching an earlier announcement in England.

From October 4, the current traffic light system of rules will be revised to make it "simpler for travellers", according to the announcement.

Green and amber classifications will merge, but the red list will remain for those countries deemed to have high Covid case rates or variants of concern. 

However, the move falls short of changes in England — which plans to remove the need for a PCR test from the same date.

The Scottish Government says "significant concerns at the impact on public health" mean that move has not been adopted.

The current amber-level restrictions will become the default for travellers from non-red countries, with eligible fully vaccinated travellers able to benefit from quarantine-free travel.

Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport Michael Matheson said: “This is a major step but one with sensible safeguards built in recognising the success of the Scottish Government’s vaccination programme.

“The expansion of the eligible vaccinated traveller policy combined with the changes to the traffic light system will provide a welcome boost to Scotland’s tourism industry.

“However, we have concerns that the UK Government’s proposals to remove the requirement for a pre-departure test for some travellers will weaken our ability to protect the public health of Scotland’s communities. 

"While we want to maintain a four nations approach to these matters, we need to consider urgently their implications.”

Also during the announcement, the Scottish Government confirmed a number of countries are being removed from the red list as of 4am on September 22. 

These are: 

  • Bangladesh
  • Egypt
  • Kenya
  • Maldives
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkey

The number of countries recognised in the eligible vaccinated traveller policy (currently only UK, EU/EFTA and USA), is being expanded to recognise countries where vaccine certification meets appropriate standards.

As a result, October 4, the following countries have been added to the policy:

  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Barbados
  • Brunei
  • Taiwan
  • Dominica
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Qatar
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Bahrain