COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

4th March


The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office currently advises against cruise ship travel at this time.

A Global Travel Taskforce will provide a report to the Prime Minister on 12 April, which will be used to help government determine when and how to resume safe international travel no earlier than 17 May 2021.

A new “Framework for UK Cruise Operations” issued by the Chamber of Shipping sets out the measures and recommendations for the resumption of cruise ship operations in the UK, in the context of Covid-19, when the appropriate time comes and the risk profile is such that it is safe to allow cruise travel.

The Authority will work closely with its cruise industry partners and the Port Health Authority to develop plans and procedures that will be put in place for safely handling future cruise calls at Lerwick.

Cruise lines have some of the highest health standards seen across the travel industry, with high regard to helping manage public health both onboard and onshore at destinations.

Travelling to Scotland

Mainland Scotland and some islands are in lockdown with guidance to stay at home, except for essential purposes. The Shetland Islands are currently in Level 3.

For visitors and international arrivals, new quarantine and Covid control measures have been introduced in Scotland. If you are arriving in Scotland from any country outside the Common Travel Area, you must quarantine for 10-days at a Managed Quarantine Facility booked prior to departure. Please carefully read the latest guidance on travelling in and out of the UK before embarking on your trip.

Before your departure, you must:

Visiting yacht crews are advised to read the guidance above in conjunction with our Guide for Visiting Yachts.

Vessel arrivals

Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Ports Liaison Network requires that any vessel arriving from a foreign port must provide a Declaration to the local Port Health Authority:

Notice to Mariners – Maritime Declaration of Health, COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

If a ship declares crew or passengers are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, an assessment of the situation will be done and any quarantine measures implemented if necessary. The Port Health Authority, NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council Emergency Planning and Resilience Service will take action required to mitigate any risk to public health.


The Authority continues to operate a 24/7 service, working to all current advice and guidance, closely monitoring the situation daily and liaising with relevant third parties.

Access to our reception at Albert Building is for essential deliveries or by appointment only. Visitors must wear face masks or coverings when entering the building and in all corridors and communal areas.

Any contractors or third parties engaged by the Authority require to demonstrate that they have robust Covid-19 control measures in place and that all work is planned to minimise risk.

Enhanced bio-security measures are in place across the Authority’s operations.

General advice and guidance:

Arriving in the UK

Scottish Government Travel and Transport Guidance

Latest visitor information for Shetland

Serco NorthLink Ferries Updates

Guidance for individuals and businesses

Guidance for staff in the transport sector

Latest Health Advice

Scottish Government Situation Updates

Health Protection Scotland Guidance