No social distancing and clubs can reopen from Monday

SOCIAL distancing requirements will be dropped and nightclubs able to reopen from Monday (9th August) as Scotland moves out of level zero restrictions, the first minister has confirmed.

Speaking in a virtual session of the Scottish Parliament today (3rd August), Nicola Sturgeon confirmed that the easing of restrictions planned for 9th August will go ahead, stating that “no venues will be legally required to close”, paving the way for the reopening of the late-night industry for the first time in over a year.

Social distancing – including limits on gatherings – will no longer be legally required in hospitality settings, although current face mask and Test & Protect rules will remain in place. Sturgeon also stressed that restrictions could be re-imposed on a local basis if that was required.

Updates to guidance are expected on the Scottish Government website.

There will also be changes to rules governing self isolation. From Monday, anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will still be required to self isolate. However, anyone identified as a “close contact” of that person will be able to stop self isolating as soon as they receive a negative PCR test result.

The first minister also confirmed that the Scottish Government is still considering the introduction of COVID ‘passports’.

She said: “I can also confirm that we continue to consider very carefully the possible, albeit limited, use of COVID status certification for access to certain higher-risk venues in future.

“We’re currently developing an app to make access to COVID status certificates – which will include vaccination details – easier for international travel. This will be launched next month. The app will have functionality to support the use of such certificates for domestic settings, should we decide that this is appropriate.

“However, I want to assure parliament that we do not underestimate the ethical equity and human rights issues associated with COVID status certification and we will keep members updated and consulted on our thinking on this issue.”