Visiting the Isles of Scilly during the coronavirus pandemic

Please note that this information is correct as of 12 April 2021. You must refer to the most recent guidance before planning and embarking on your journey.

National guidance applies to the Isles of Scilly, just as it does elsewhere in England. Currently, in the Isles of Scilly, like the rest of the country, Coronavirus restrictions remain in place. However, we appreciate that many people are planning and booking holidays on Scilly in accordance with the government’s roadmap. We have therefore provided some guidance below on things you should consider when planning your journey and stay on the Isles of Scilly. Most importantly, you must continue to follow government guidance and remember: ‘Hands, Face, Space’ to minimise the risk of spread throughout your trip.

We look forward to welcoming you to the islands and thank you for taking the time to plan for a safe and enjoyable visit.


DO NOT travel to the Isles of Scilly if you:

  • have any symptoms of COVID-19
  • have tested positive for coronavirus and are within the self-isolation period
  • have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate
  • live with (or are in a support bubble with) someone who has symptoms of, or has tested positive for, COVID-19

Please consider the following if travelling to the islands:

  • Recheck the guidance. You MUST check the government guidance immediately before you travel and ensure you have read all of the advice from your travel and accommodation providers.
  • Take a Lateral Flow Test before travelling and continue regular testing once on the islands. In line with current government advice, you are encouraged to continue regular rapid testing whilst on the islands. You may wish to take a lateral flow test before travelling and bring a supply with you to the islands. If you are unable to bring a supply with you, you are also welcome to collect rapid tests on the islands
  • Plan your journey. Plan each stage of your journey and stay on Scilly: the drive to the airport or quay; where you will eat; and what toilet facilities you will use.
  • Face coverings. Pack sufficient face coverings for the duration of your stay - face coverings are mandatory in many settings, including on Skybus, Scillonian III and Penzance Helicopters, shuttle buses and boats, and in all enclosed public areas. You can read the guidance on face coverings on the website.
  • NHS number. Bring your NHS number with you. It is required for the testing process and having it to hand will help ensure you get your test result as quickly as possible.
  • Hand Sanitiser. Bring hand sanitiser with you so you always have access to it. Where there are hand sanitiser stations available, please use them. 
  • Charge your phone and remain contactable. Keep your phone charged at all times so that you can be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace System. You may also wish to enable Wi-Fi calling, if available, on your mobile phone. If you cannot get your phone to work in your accommodation, you must ensure you can safely access and relay messages from our Local Incident Response Team and NHS Test and Trace via your accommodation provider or another on-island contact.
  • Medicine. You should bring at least 10 extra days’ worth of any medication or medical supplies you rely on, in case you are required to self-isolate on the islands.
  • Plan for all eventualities. Have a plan for how you will respond if you or any close contacts within your travel party develop symptoms, tests positive or is contacted by NHS Test and Trace while you are on Scilly and discuss it with your accommodation provider before travel.
  • Keep track of your movements. Consider keeping a diary of your movements during your visit, so that if you develop coronavirus symptoms while on Scilly, our Local Incident Response Team can work with the Public Health Protection Team to identify places you have visited and people you may have come into contact with in, order to minimise transmission.
  • Contactless payment. Most local businesses offer contactless payments. Please use this system wherever possible.

If you are coming to Scilly to work, you should also consider the following:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Bring all of the PPE supplies required to support your covid secure working practices, along with supplies of hand sanitiser and necessary cleaning products. Do not rely on being able to buy supplies on the islands. Please check arrangements for transporting such products with your chosen travel operator.
  • Risk assessment. Your risk assessments should cover all aspects of your trip to Scilly, including testing arrangements and contingencies for quarantining – not just generic working practices.

If you are travelling to Scilly by private yacht from another country, you should liaise with St Mary’s Harbour Authority directly by emailing or calling 01720 422768.

Getting a COVID-19 test on the Isles of Scilly

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms whilst on the islands, you must immediately:

  • self-isolate in your accommodation
  • notify your accommodation provider
  • and arrange for a test. See our coronavirus symptoms and testing page for full details on how to access a COVID-19 test on the Isles of Scilly.

You must follow these instructions even if you are due to leave the islands imminently, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Anyone with symptoms or who tests positive for COVID-19 is currently expected to self-isolate in their accommodation for their full isolation period unless otherwise notified by either the Council, Public Health or NHS Test and Trace following a full risk assessment of the situation.

Further Information

For further information about COVID-19 arrangements on the Isles of Scilly visit our COVID-19 information and advice pages. You may also wish to follow our Facebook and Twitter accounts for the latest updates. 

If you have any queries don't hesitate to contact us at