National Services Scotland logo

Fit for Travel Logo

Information on how to stay safe and healthy abroad. About us.

Zika Virus: Updated Guidance for Travellers

27 Feb 2019

Zika virus was first noted in the Americas in 2015 and since then the understanding of Zika virus infection (ZIKV) has evolved considerably, particularly with respect to Congenital Zika syndrome and sexual transmission of Zika virus. The World Health Organisation and Public Health authorities across the UK have reviewed the evidence available to date, and modified the advice for travellers accordingly.

The Travel and International Health Team (T&IH) at Health Protection Scotland (HPS) in response to these changes have updated the advice for travellers on fitfortravel.

The main changes of note are:

• After travel, men are advised to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of Zika virus and avoid conception for 3 months (previously 6 months).

All travellers to countries with a risk of ZIKV transmission must consider:

Mosquito bite avoidance measures.
Travel insurance.

Travellers to countries at risk of ZIKV transmission should avoid the risk of sexual transmission of ZIKV by the use of contraception and condoms during travel and for:
• 2 months afterwards if female.
• 3 months afterwards if male.

Pregnant travellers are advised to:
Postpone non-essential travel to a country at High Risk of ZIKV transmission, as detailed on the individual country pages of fitfortravel.
Consider postponing non-essential travel to a country at Moderate Risk of ZIKV transmission, as detailed on the individual country pages of  fitfortravel.

There are no restrictions for pregnant women travelling to countries with a Very Low Risk of ZIKV transmission.

The risk of transmission of ZIKV in a country or area is listed under 'Noticeboard' on specific country pages.The zika virus infection page provides further information on the disease and preventive measures.