Covid restrictions tightened in Scotland in bid to tackle Omicron

Additional measures will be put in place as part of efforts to halt rising Covid case numbers.

Covid restrictions tightened in Scotland in bid to tackle Omicron iStock

Limits on the size of public events, table service in venues serving alcohol and one-metre social distancing are amongst the measures being re-introduced in Scotland to combat rising Covid case numbers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the steps in a statement at Holyrood on Tuesday.

It comes amidst increasing concern over the threat posed by the Omicron variant – now the dominant strain of the virus across the country.

Sturgeon has also urged people to stay at home “as much as possible” over the festive period.

She told MSPs: “From, December 27 – as we come out of the Christmas weekend – and at least until the end of the first week in January when we will review this advice again, please go back to limiting your contacts as much as possible.

“Please stay at home as much as possible. When you do go out, please maintain physical distancing from people not in your group.

“And difficult though it is, please follow this advice over New Year – minimise Hogmanay socialising as much as you can.”

On the limitations being place on events, she said: “From December 26 – inclusive – for a period of three weeks, we intend to place limits on the size of public events that can take place. This does not apply to private life events such as weddings.

“For indoor standing events the limit will be 100; for indoor seated events it will be 200; and for outdoor events it will be 500 seated or standing.

“Physical distancing of one metre will be required at events that go ahead within these limits.

“This will of course make sports matches, including football, effectively spectator-free over this three week period.

“And it will also mean that large-scale Hogmanay celebrations – including that planned here in our capital city – will not proceed.

“I know how disappointing this will be for those looking forward to these events, and for the organisers of them.”

Sturgeon set out further Covid protection measures for hospitality settings and other indoor public places.

“Secondly, we intend to issue guidance to the effect that non-professional indoor contact sports for adults should not take place during the three week period from December 26,” she said.

“This is because these activities, where physical distancing is not possible, also create a heightened risk of transmission.

“Finally – from December 27, again for a three week period – we intend to introduce some further protections in hospitality settings and other indoor public places to reduce transmission risk in what are, through no fault of those who run such venues, higher risk environments.

“I can confirm that a requirement for table service only will be reintroduced for venues serving alcohol for consumption on the premises.

“And we will also ask indoor hospitality and leisure venues to ensure one metre distance, not within, but between groups of people who are attending together.

“We will continue to advise people that if they are attending indoor hospitality or leisure venues – and remember our core advice remains to minimise this – there should be no more than three households represented in any group.”

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