Travel to and from the Isles of Scilly during the current national lockdown

A joint message from the local police team, Isles of Scilly Travel and the Council of the Isles of Scilly.

We are aware that the announcement of the current national lockdown has prompted some discussion about travel to and from the islands and would like to shed some light on the work being undertaken to help keep the islands safe and comply with national government guidance relating to travel at this time.

Government has instructed that “you must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse (for example, for work or education purposes).” A full list of exemptions can be found in the National Lockdown: Stay at Home guidance.

As with the previous lockdown, you should still expect to see people visiting the islands for legitimate work purposes. These people are not breaking the rules and it’s important that we respect the need for them to carry out their work. 

However, we also recognise concerns from the community about the need to keep people safe and can confirm that the following measures are in place to ensure that the guidance is observed, and that people do not flout the rules:

  • Isles of Scilly Travel are asking all passengers travelling to and from the islands to confirm that their reason for travel complies with current government restrictions. They are also making passengers aware that the police may carry out compliance checks at both Land’s End Airport and St Mary’s Airport.
  • Isles of Scilly Travel are also continuing to implement their COVID-secure measures, in line with government best practice, to ensure the protection of all customers and employees. They request that passengers continue to work with them and that they familiarise themselves with the latest guidance and information before travel.
  • The local police team are working with individuals and organisations to ensure their travel is lawful. As such, you will see an increased police presence at both St Mary's and Land's End airports, where travellers may be subject to compliance checks. The police team do not wish to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for breaches of COVID-19 legislation, but they will target those who deliberately flout the law and put our community at risk.
  • The Council’s Public Health team is collaborating with the police and Isles of Scilly Travel, as well as other partners, to offer advice on how travel can be conducted safely.

According to government guidance, anyone currently on Scilly for a holiday (having travelled when it was permitted to do so) must return to their primary residence as soon as practical. This includes anyone currently staying in second homes on the islands. This rule is to ensure that everyone accesses health services where they are registered and that local health services are not unduly stretched. 

It’s important to remember that the rules also apply to travel from the islands. Any residents who have to travel to the mainland for a permitted reason must ensure they plan their trip to include the required precautions, including consideration of how they would isolate away from the islands if necessary. The basic transmission-risk-reduction advice must be followed at all times: Wash Hands, Cover Face, Make Space. Such essential trips can still be undertaken safely, but extra care should be taken at this time, as transmission rates are high throughout Cornwall.

All of our organisations and the many partners we work with recognise the concern this further lockdown period may cause and we will continue to work together to support our community and keep Scilly safe. 

Points of contact and further information

To access COVID-19 testing on Scilly

Call: 01626 204 950  


To make an enquiry or find further information about travel arrangements to or from the islands

Call Isles of Scilly Travel: 01736 334220

To contact the police

With a non-urgent query: 101

In an emergency: 999

Public Health or other enquiries relating to COVID-19 arrangements on Scilly 

For all of the latest government guidance relating to COVID-19



Publishing date: 
Thursday, 7 January, 2021