Nicola Sturgeon lifts Covid restrictions on pubs, restaurants and nightclubs from next week
Restrictions on hospitality venues in Ayrshire will be lifted next week.
Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced this afternoon that restrictions on pubs, nightclubs and restaurants were to end.
Rules had been introduced over the festive period in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of Covid.
They included table service only for venues selling alcohol and mandatory social distancing between groups.
But from this Monday, all restrictions will be lifted.
Nightclubs, which have been closed for several weeks, can also reopen as usual from January 24.
The Scottish Government will also end guidelines limiting indoor gatherings to three households.
However, people are still being asked to work from home and take lateral flow tests before meeting other people.
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Ms Sturgeon said: “The remaining statutory measures introduced in response to Omicron include the following; limits on participation in indoor public events; the requirement of physical distancing of one meter between different groups in indoor public places; l requirement for table service in reception areas serving alcohol on site and the closing of nightclubs.
“Given the improvement in the situation – and as I said last week, we hoped to be able to do so – I can confirm today that all these measures will be lifted from next Monday, January 24 .”
During his statement, Sturgeon also announced a small change to the Covid passport regime at nightclubs.
She said: “At this time, nightclubs and other nightlife venues must apply the Covid certification scheme if they have, in use, a designated area for dancing.
“We intend to change the definition here to provide more clarity and prevent locals from avoiding certification simply by having tables on a dance floor – and therefore claiming that it is not about a dance floor – but still allowing dancing around the tables.
“This change will take effect from Monday, when nightclubs can reopen.”
The Prime Minister explained that Omicron is still infecting “large numbers of people, but Scotland is now on the ‘downhill slope’ of infections with the Coronavirus strain.
Speaking in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon presented statistics showing a ‘significant drop’ in the number of new cases, while saying the NHS remained under ‘acute pressure’.
She added: “Taking all of this into account and triangulating the different data sources allows us to say with some confidence that the rise in cases driven by Omicron peaked in the first week of January and we are now on the downward slope of this wave of cases.”
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