COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

5th June

Domestic travel within Scotland

At all times visitors are expected to follow the national rules on Coronavirus in Scotland.

Shetland is currently in Level 0 of the Scottish Government protection system.

Travel is permitted both within Scotland and between Scotland and England, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man – with the exception of any areas of Scotland in Level 3 or Level 4.

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

At all times visitors are expected to follow the national rules on Coronavirus in Scotland.

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


Scottish Government have confirmed that a decision has been made not to allow cruise restart in Scotland at this time and this situation will be reviewed later in June.

The Authority continues to work with all cruise industry partners and the Port Health Authority to develop plans and procedures that will be put in place for the safe handling of future cruise calls at Lerwick. We are handling a number of active enquiries with cruise lines for potential visits this season.

When the appropriate time comes and the risk profile is such that it is safe to allow cruise travel, operators will require to follow the new Framework for UK Cruise Operations issued by the Chamber of Shipping.

At this time, a Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advisory against cruise ship travel is still in place.

On 12 April, the government’s Global Travel Taskforce detailed a series of recommendations to restore international travel safely following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

In England, on 17 May, domestic cruising restarted, with cruise lines operating with up to 1,000 passengers or 50% capacity (whichever is lower). By step 4 of the UK government’s roadmap through coronavirus, it is hoped that all legal limits on social contact, including lifting capacity limits for domestic cruises can happen.

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 the situation daily and liaising with relevant third parties.

Access to our reception at Albert Building is by appointment or for essential deliveries. 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:

Scottish Government Situation Updates

Scottish Government Protection Levels

Latest visitor information for Shetland

Latest NHS Health Advice

Serco NorthLink Ferries Updates

Guidance for individuals and businesses

Guidance for staff in the transport sector