COVID-19 restrictions are to be eased in Scotland from Monday January 24, with nightclubs reopening, large indoor events resuming and social distancing rules dropped.
Restrictions on outdoor events in Scotland were previously lifted on January 17. This allowed fans to return to outdoor concerts and football matches, after COVID restrictions were put in place on Boxing Day, reducing outdoor events to a capacity of 500.
Nightclubs had been closed since December 26 but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had said that all restrictions, including the closure of nightclubs, could be lifted from January 24.
The new changes will take effect after a “significant fall” in new case numbers, with Sturgeon commented that Scotland had “turned the corner on the Omicron wave”. From next Monday, there will be no limits on attendance at indoor public events, no requirement for 1m physical distancing and table service in hospitality venues, and nightclubs can once again open.
People are still being asked to use of face coverings on public transport and indoor public places, take lateral flow tests before meeting with others and to work from home where they can. But guidance advising against meeting up with more than three households at a time and any previous curbs on indoor contact sports have also been scrapped.
Sturgeon said that Scotland was “once again entering a calmer phase of the pandemic”, but warned there was still “significant pressure” on health services.
She added: “Although we can be increasingly optimistic at this stage, we must all still play our part in helping further slow the spread of the virus.”
In other news, it was announced earlier this week that all Plan B COVID restrictions in England are expected to be scrapped later this month, according to a senior government source.
Currently, as part of Plan B restrictions, face masks are required in cinemas and theatres, and people need to show proof they’re fully vaccinated or provide a negative test when visiting clubs, indoor unseated venues with more than 500 people, unseated outdoor venues with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people.