Non-essential travel to and from Orkney can begin again - read our update for the latest information.

Take a test before you travel

With travel restrictions in Scotland being eased on 26 April, we know many of you will now be in the midst of planning a trip to Orkney, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to the islands.

Our community has worked hard over the past year to keep levels of coronavirus here to a minimum. We’d therefore respectfully ask visitors to do all they can to help protect our residents and limit any potential spread of the virus.

In addition to following the Scottish Government’s FACTS advice (Face coverings; Avoid crowds; Clean Hands; Two metres distancing; Self-isolate if you have symptoms), you can also now choose to take a rapid test for coronavirus before you travel to Orkney.

The Scottish Government announced today (20 April) that lateral flow test packs are available for free to anyone planning to visit Scotland’s islands. Visitors are being encouraged to order the packs and take two tests before beginning their journey.

One test should be taken three days before departure, with another carried out on the day of departure. If you or anyone in your household tests positive, you should book a more sensitive PCR test via NHS Inform before deciding whether to cancel your visit.

There is no official requirement to take a test, and you won’t be asked to provide a negative test result whilst en-route to the islands. However, we’d encourage you all to take advantage of the free kits available before travelling to give our island communities confidence that you’re doing everything you can to help protect them.

Remember, a negative lateral flow test doesn’t provide a guarantee that you definitely don’t have coronavirus, so please ensure you continue to follow the FACTS guidance when you’re here.

Let’s work together to keep Orkney safe. We hope you enjoy your visit to the islands.


Keep up-to-date with the latest information on COVID-19 in Orkney with our dedicated section. Read our FAQs and travel pages for the latest advice.

Orkney.com Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter

Sign up to receive our newsletter, with the latest news from our beautiful, vibrant islands and be inspired to plan your escape.
Sign Up Now