At-a-glance: What Covid restrictions will ease from August 9?

Scotland will move beyond level zero restrictions on Monday, the First Minister has announced.

At-a-glance: What Covid restrictions will ease from August 9? iStock

The majority of coronavirus restrictions in Scotland will end from August 9, the First Minister announced on Tuesday. 

Addressing parliament remotely, Nicola Sturgeon said lifting restrictions would include an end to social distancing and limits on the size of social gatherings.

However, face coverings will still be required in certain settings such as on public transport and in shops, with the First Minister adding that they are “likely to be mandated in law for some time to come”.

The First Minister warned that while rules will be lifted, “it does not signal the end of the pandemic”.

From August 9

Face coverings

It will continue to be mandatory to wear face coverings in all indoor places as in level zero, subject to existing conditions such as exemptions for health reasons. 

This will be kept under review, but it is expected to remain in law for months to come. 

Social distancing 

The requirement to social distance will be removed, however people are encouraged to keep a safe distance from each other, especially indoors, and to avoid crowded places to minimise risk.

Test and Protect

Contact details of customers will continue to be taken by hospitality venues.

However localised restrictions may return to control outbreaks, as well as travel restrictions.


People who display symptoms or test positive for Covid will still be required to self-isolate.

However from August 9, close contacts who are double vaccinated will no longer be required to automatically self-isolate for ten days. 

Instead, if two weeks have passed since a second dose and a close contact has no symptoms, they can take a PCR test.

If the test is negative, self-isolation can end. 


Working from home is still advised by the Scottish Government. 

Businesses are encouraged to develop a hybrid model of both home and office working for the future.


All venues will be allowed to open from Monday, meaning nightclubs will reopen for the first time in more than a year. 

Bar service will also resume in pubs and hospitality venues will be able to operate at full capacity. 


Organisers of outdoor events of more than 5000 and indoor events of more than 2000 will have to apply for permission, allowing the Scottish Government and local authorities to assess the risk of each event. 


Secondary school pupils will have to wear face coverings during lessons, while staff will have to social distance by one-metre for at least six weeks once schools reopen.

‘Blanket isolation’ of whole classes of schoolchildren will no longer be routine and “instead a more targeted approach will identify close contacts at highest risk of infection”.

All secondary pupils, and all school staff will need to take a lateral flow test one or two days before they return after the holidays, and then to take tests twice a week after that.

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