[updated 19 Nov 2021]
Important: By law, everyone age 12 and over must wear a face covering in most indoor public places in Scotland.
For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation in Scotland and how it affects travellers and visitors to the country, please check the following official websites:
International travel restrictions have been eased, but the situation is still fluid and likely to change. Please check the Scottish government’s website for current guidelines:
[updated 18 May 2021]
From 17 May, restrictions have been eased significantly. Travel around mainland Scotland (except for Glasgow city and Moray) is allowed, and hotels, B&Bs and restaurants have reopened.
However, international travel still faces problems. Anyone wishing to visit Scotland from abroad must follow the procedures outlined on the following web page, depending on whether their country of origin falls into the red, amber or green list:
Australia, New Zealand, Iceland and Singapore are currently on the green list, but even this means that visitors must book and pay for (£88) a COVID-19 test within two days of arrival.
Canada, USA and most European countries are currently on the amber list, which means that visitors to Scotland must pay for two COVID-19 tests AND self-isolate for 10 days after arrival.
[updated 14 Apr 2021]
Scottish government announcement on 13 April:
Travel within Scotland for outdoor socialising, recreation and exercise will be allowed from Friday 16 April.
People must continue to Stay Local for other purposes such as non-essential shopping, and public transport capacity will continue to be limited.
Outdoor meetings in groups of up to six adults from up to six households will also be allowed from Friday, with under-12s not counting towards this limit. Socialising in homes is still not permitted.
This easing of restrictions has been brought forward as data shows continued progress on vaccination against Coronavirus (COVID-19) and suppression of the virus. Caution was urged by the First Minister to protect against resurgence of the virus as the latest easing was confirmed – people should take care to plan ahead with journeys and follow the FACTS advice when out and about.
Should data permit, the whole of Scotland, including all island communities, will then be in Level 3 from Monday 26 April. This will mean:
- non-essential travel between Scotland, England and Wales will be permitted, and tourist accommodation in Scotland can reopen subject to socialising rules
- shops will be able to fully reopen with precautions including physical distancing requirements, face masks and hand sanitiser in place
- gyms and indoor sports facilities, including swimming pools, will reopen for individual exercise, with group activities permitted for under-18s, and all organised outdoor activity can resume except adult contact sport
- limits on attendance at life events, including weddings, civil partnerships, funerals and receptions for those will increase to 50, with alcohol permitted
- pubs, cafes and restaurants will reopen outdoors for groups of up to six people from up to six households with alcohol in line with local licencing laws, and indoors for groups of up to six people from up to two households without alcohol until 20:00
- takeaways will be able to resume normal service, with physical distancing and face masks in premises
- mobile close contact services such as hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons can resume
- non-essential work in other people’s homes will resume
Further reviews will take place to consider the rest of the Common Travel Area (CTA), including for Northern Ireland ahead of 26 April which will take into account the outcome of the review of restrictions there later this week. Temporary travel restrictions may still be necessary beyond 26 April to and from targeted places with high rates of COVID-19, either in Scotland or in other parts of the CTA, to protect against importation of the virus.
[updated 16 Mar 2021]
If things go according to plan, we can resume fishing trips for Scottish and UK visitors from 26 April, as travel within all of mainland Scotland will be permitted (subject to other restrictions that remain in place), and tourist accommodation can reopen.
International travel will depend on restrictions in place in your own country as well as Scotland, but will not be possible until 17 May at the earliest.
Scottish Government timetable for further lockdown easing:
2 April: End of Stay at Home rule, but still Stay Local (ie within your own local authority area).
26 April: The Scottish Government hopes to lift all restrictions on journeys in mainland Scotland.
- all retail premises, libraries, museums and galleries, tourist accommodation would be able to open
- the hospitality sector would be able to reopen outdoors for the service of alcohol, and potentially open indoors for non-alcohol service
- up to four people from two households could be able to socialise indoors in a public place such as a café or restaurant
- six people from up to three households could be able to meet outdoors
17 May: further re-opening of hospitality: bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes can stay open until 10.30pm indoors with alcohol permitted and 2 hour time-limited slots and until 10pm outdoors with alcohol permitted
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“It is not possible to provide specific dates or details for coming out of lockdown beyond 17 May – that will depend on what impact there is from the changes already made – however my hope and ambition is that from early June, all of Scotland will effectively be in level 1 of the levels system, allowing for a further easing of restrictions – and possibly moving to level 0 in late June.”
[updated 24 Feb 2021]
Yesterday (23 Feb), the Scottish government announced plans for a phased reopening of hotels and restaurants in Scotland from 26 April. However, there may still be restrictions on travel until at least mid-May (the situation will be reviewed regularly – check back here for the latest news). We will continue to take provisional bookings for later in 2021.
[updated 5 Jan 2021]
The lockdown announced by the Scottish government beginning today, 5 January 2021, and running at least until the end of January, means that we will not be able to run any fishing trips during this period. We will continue to take provisional bookings for later in 2021.
[updated 23 Dec 2020]
Current restrictions mean that between now and 18 January 2021 we will not be able to run fishing trips for anyone who has to travel from outside the local authority areas where our guides are resident (ie Perthshire and Argyll). We will continue to take provisional bookings for later in 2021.
The following travel restrictions are currently in place:
People who live in a Level 3 or Level 4 local authority area in Scotland are now required to stay in that area unless they have a reasonable excuse to travel, such as work, education, or welfare reasons – see travelling around Scotland. NB All of mainland Scotland will be Level 4 from 26 Dec 2020 until 18 Jan 2021.
Under current Scottish law, given the state of the epidemic in those countries, unless you have a reasonable excuse (see exceptions) you must not travel between Scotland and:
- Northern Ireland
- County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland
Travellers arriving in Scotland from certain countries and regions overseas may be required, by law, to quarantine by self-isolation for 10 days after arrival. See the list of countries to which this applies. The list is reviewed frequently against the evidence available and it changes from time to time.
If you travel back from a country, to which the quarantine rule applies, to another part of the UK, but your final destination is Scotland, you must follow the rules that are in place in Scotland.
[updated Sun 26 July 2020]
WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING BOOKINGS for 2021
As Scotland’s tourism businesses begin to reopen in 2021, and restrictions on travel outside of people’s local areas are lifted, we will be taking the following precautions:
- checking that clients have not experienced symptoms during the two weeks before their trip
- maintaining a 2m distance while guiding
- not sharing cars or boats with clients
- providing hand sanitiser for use during the day
- making sure all kit is wiped down pre- and post-use
Fishpal has a useful advice page here: https://www.fishpal.com/Coronavirus/anglers.html
[updated Mon 15 Jun 2020]
WE ARE NOW ACCEPTING BOOKINGS for trips beginning on 16 July 2020 onwards.
Scotland’s tourism businesses (along with some accommodation providers) are preparing to reopen on 15 July 2020, conditional on Scotland reaching phase 3 of its lockdown easing plan (see links below).
Restrictions on travel outside of people’s local area are expected to lift from 15 July, which will see a return to fishing on waters more than 5 miles from home.
However, the government also warned that “absolutely nothing can be guaranteed” and the date could be changed if infection rates do not continue to fall. The final decision on whether to go ahead will be made at the 9 July government review.
The Scottish government is aiming to publish guidance to tourism businesses on 18 June, which will help us prepare for reopening the following month.
[updated Fri 5 Jun 2020]
Restrictions on angling in Scotland were eased following the Scottish Government review on 28 May. Fishing alone, or with a member of your own household, is now permitted. However, the government’s guidance states:
“In this phase we are planning to allow unrestricted outdoors exercise adhering to distancing measures and non-contact outdoor activities in the local area – such as golf, hiking, canoeing, outdoor swimming, angling – consistent with the wider rules and guidance applicable to any activity in this phase.”
“You will … be permitted to travel short distances for outdoor leisure and exercise but advice is to stay within a short distance of your local community and travel by walk, wheel and cycle where possible.”
The guidance states that “a short distance” means up to 5 miles from home.
Obviously, this means that guided fishing trips are not yet practical. Most of our clients come from outside Scotland and use local hotels and B&Bs, and it will be some time before international travel and tourist accommodation get back to anything approaching normality.
In the meantime, we are looking at how to manage guided trips in the post-pandemic but pre-vaccine environment. Precautions we are looking at include:
- checking that clients are not experiencing symptoms now or over the last fortnight
- maintaining a 2m distance while guiding
- not sharing cars or boats with clients
- making sure all kit is wiped down pre and post use
Fishpal has a useful advice page here:https://www.fishpal.com/Coronavirus/anglers.html
[updated Mon 20 Apr 2020]
As the UK lockdown has been extended to at least the middle of May, we have postponed all Fishinguide trips in April and May, and will be reviewing those in June (and beyond) as the situation develops. It looks likely that most, if not all, will have to be rescheduled.
[updated Mon 23 Mar 2020]
In light of the Scottish Government’s advice to avoid all but essential travel, and that hotels, B&Bs and self-catering accommodation should not be accepting visitors (as well as requests by rural communities across Scotland for visitors to stay away), we have taken the decision that it would be irresponsible to continue to operate fishing trips under these circumstances.
We have postponed all Fishinguide trips in March and April, and will be reviewing those in May and June (and beyond) as the situation develops. It looks likely that most, if not all, will have to be rescheduled.
[updated: Fri 20 Mar 2020]
This is a difficult time for everybody, so we at Fishinguide would like to keep our clients informed of what is happening at our end.
We have received no official advice to postpone or cancel any upcoming activities; however, we are monitoring the situation and will follow advice and guidance from all relevant Government agencies.
Most of the fishing venues that we use remain open for business – the only change is that beats that have a fishing hut may not offer the use of the hut.
Fishing is essentially self-isolating by naure, but there are the associated problems of transport and accommodation – disrupted travel, potential bans on movement, and hotels and restaurants being closed down.
As you’ll be only too aware, this is a rapidly changing situation. We’ll continue to follow Government advice as it develops and will let you know if we need to make any further changes.
In the meantime we would like to wish you and your families well, and we look forward to sharing Scotland’s fishing with you when the situation improves.
We understand that our clients may need more flexibility than usual, so we will be amending our cancellation policy as follows:
If you have booked and paid in advance for a fishing trip that is due to take place between now and October 2020, then we will offer the facility to reschedule your trip (at no extra cost) for any time in the 24 months following the date of your original booking.
You do not have to choose a new date right away, but can wait until it becomes clear when something approaching normality might resume.
If you decide not to reschedule, and there is a travel ban still in place at the time of your booking (ie your own government and/or the UK or Scottish government has advised against all but essential travel, or flights and/or hotels are not available) then you can ask for a full refund minus a £30 administration fee.
If you decide not to reschedule, and there is no travel ban in place at the time of your booking, and you simply choose not to go ahead with your trip, then our normal cancellation policy applies.
When the government ban on non-essential travel is lifted, and it is deemed safe to resume fishing trips, we will consider implementing the following precautionary measures:
- We will only guide clients who can make their own way to the fishing venue, either in their own vehicle or a rental, so as to maintain a safe distance between client and guide.
- Our rods, reels, lines and waders will be sanitised at the end of each trip.
- Your guide will maintain a safe distance (minimum 2 metres) while guiding. And no handshakes after landing a fish!
- Our guides will not attend any fishing trips if they are showing symptoms of covid-19, or if they have tested positive for coronavirus, and we would ask our clients to do the same.
Please take the following precautions in public places:
- clean your hands often – do this for at least 20 seconds (use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available)
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in a bin or plastic bag immediately, and clean your hands afterwards
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
Scottish Government advice about covid-19/coronavirus can be found here