Restrictions remain until at least 24th January

Parliament to consider whether extending COVID passports to wider settings “might be necessary”

PHYSICAL distancing between groups and a requirement for table service will remain in place in hospitality venues until at least 24th January, the first minister has announced.

Since 27th December venues have been required to limit service to table service only and to ensure there is a distance of at least one metre between groups.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament today (11th January) Nicola Sturgeon said that, although restrictions will start to be lifted from Monday 17th January, it will be done in a “phased way”.

The first restriction to be lifted will be attendance limits on large outdoor events, meaning that, from Monday 17th, spectators can return to events such as football and rugby matches.

A decision will be taken next week on whether the table service and physical distancing requirements will be removed from 24th January.

There was no mention of nightclubs, which were required to close – or trade as bars – from  27th December.

Sturgeon also announced changes to the Scottish Government’s COVID certification scheme.

In order to be deemed fully vaccinated through the scheme, people will now have to be able to demonstrate they have received a booster if they received their second vaccine dose more than four months ago.

Organisers of events of over 1000 people will also be required to check the vaccination status of 50% of attendees, up from 20%, or at least 1000 people (whichever is higher).

And the Scottish Government is still considering whether to extend the certification scheme to wider hospitality settings.

Sturgeon said: “As we do lift these other protective measures it will be necessary to consider again if extending the scope of the covid certification to other venues might be a necessary protection.

“To be clear, we have not yet taken any decisions on this and will require careful judgement. But I want to be clear to parliament today that it is something we feel bound to give appropriate consideration to.”

The first minister said that the Scottish Government will publish an updated ‘strategic framework’ in the coming weeks.