COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

16th August

As of 9 August 2021, Scotland moved beyond the protection level restrictions. All harbour users and visitors are expected to continue to act carefully and follow the guidance on Coronavirus in Scotland. The following sections capture important information relating to port operations:

Domestic travel within Scotland

Travel is permitted both within Scotland and between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

To reduce the risk of coronavirus being brought into island communities, Scottish Government encourage anyone planning travel to a Scottish island to test before they depart. Lateral Flow Tests are available for delivery to your home, anywhere in the UK. It is recommended that you test three days before departure, and again on day of departure. If you test positive, you should complete your period of self-isolation before beginning your journey.

International Arrivals

There is a risk assessment based ‘traffic light system’ which sets out the quarantine rules and procedures that must be followed when you arrive in Scotland.

The green, amber and red lists can change at short notice. Before you arrive in Scotland, you should check these lists and make sure you are following the correct rules.

In all instances, you will require to complete a Passenger Locator Form and you may also be asked to provide proof of a negative test when you arrive in Scotland. The level of self-isolation or quarantine measures to be applied, depend on where you have arrived from.

Visiting yacht crews must adhere to the national rules and you can find a summary of the requirements on our Preparing for your visit page.


The Authority has worked with cruise industry partners, the Port Health Authority and Public Health Authority on plans and procedures to manage the safe handling of cruise calls at Lerwick.

Domestic cruising restarted in Scotland on 19 July 2021 in line with all relevant government guidance. This is the reopening of Scottish ports to cruise ships on UK-only sailings, carrying UK passengers.

Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government have confirmed the relaxation of the requirement for shore excursion bubbles that has so far been in place for the domestic restart. This change means some cruise lines may choose to allow passengers and crew members independent shore leave this season. Previous restrictions on capacity numbers onboard cruise ships have also been lifted.

Changes can be expected on the cruise ship visit list as operators firm up their itineraries around the easing of restrictions. Full or partial Victoria Pier closures can be expected on cruise days as required to ensure the safety of cruise operations.

International cruises are still currently prohibited from Scottish ports. As of 28 July 2021, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office no longer advises against international cruising. These are defined as cruises which begin, end, or call at ports outside of the UK.

Throughout the pandemic, cruise lines have worked hard to establish some of the highest health standards now seen across the travel industry, with high regard to helping manage public health both onboard and onshore at destinations.

General Shipping

Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Ports Liaison Network states 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 and/or passengers are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, an assessment of the situation will be done by Port Health Authority and if necessary, quarantine measures implemented. The Port Health Authority, NHS Shetland and Shetland Islands Council Emergency Planning and Resilience Service will take the necessary action 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 all its activities and liaising with relevant third parties.

Access to our reception at Albert Building remains for essential deliveries and pre-arranged appointments 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:

Coronavirus in Scotland

Latest visitor information for Shetland

Serco NorthLink Ferries Updates

Latest NHS Health Advice

Guidance for staff in the transport sector