Hospitality restrictions reimposed in Scotland in fight against Omicron variant

·2-min read

Restrictions on hospitality are due to be reimposed from 5am on Boxing Day as the Scottish Government looks to stem the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

With the increased transmissibility of the new strain, the Scottish Government has imposed limits on the number of people who can attend events.

Only 100 are allowed to attend a standing indoor event and 200 at a seated event.

Outdoor events have been limited to 500, meaning large-scale Hogmanay celebrations have been scrapped.

Despite the restrictions, football games in the Scottish Premiership will go ahead on Boxing Day, with the winter break brought forward to limit the impact of restrictions on teams.

Indoor non-professional contact sports have also been stopped.

The restrictions will be reviewed in three weeks, and will be paired with further changes coming into effect from Monday at 5am, including the closure of nightclubs.

Indoor hospitality and leisure settings will also have to return to one-metre social distancing and table service where appropriate under the new measures.

Announcing the restrictions this week, Nicola Sturgeon said she understood how disappointing the changes will be to those impacted.

The First Minister added: “Just a few days before Christmas, I am again urging people to stay at home as much as possible, to slow down a highly infectious new variant.

“But, although it may not feel like it, we are in a much stronger position than last year.

“We have had far fewer restrictions in place for much of this year than was the case last year.

“Christmas Day will be more normal.

“Most importantly, a rapidly increasing number of adults is now protected by three doses of vaccine.”

The most recent figures, released on Christmas Eve, show 7,076 new cases of Covid-19, 10 deaths and a 14.7% positivity rate.

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