Table Service-Only And Social Distancing Returns For Scottish Pubs

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  • Nicola Sturgeon
    Nicola Sturgeon
    5th First Minister of Scotland and Leader of the Scottish National Party
(Photo: John Keeble via Getty Images)
(Photo: John Keeble via Getty Images)

Pubs and restaurants in Scotland will have to become table service-only for three weeks from December 27, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Indoor hospitality and leisure venues will also have to ensure a one-metre distance between groups.

The first minister said the series of stricter Covid measures would need to be introduced to tackle to spread of the Omicron variant.

Large-scale Hogmanay celebrations will be cancelled and live sports will be “effectively spectator-free” for three weeks from Boxing Day.

Outdoor public events in will be capped at 500 people. Numbers at indoor public events are to be limited to 100 standing or 200 seated.

Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament: “Difficult though it is, please follow this advice over New Year – minimise Hogmanay socialising as much as you can.

“If we all follow the advice to minimise the contact we have outside our own households, we will help limit the spread of infections. This is the bedrock of our plan for the immediate period ahead.”

In England, Boris Johnson yesterday stopped short of introducing immediate new restrictions.

But the prime minister has dropped heavy hints the tighter rules could be brought in after Christmas day.

Earlier, Cabinet Office minister Steve Barclay said the government would be looking “closely” at the data to see if a so-called circuit breaker lockdown was needed.

Transmission of Omicron has been described as “eye-wateringly high” by a leading expert.

Sir Jeremy Farrar, director of the global charitable foundation Wellcome, said “we’re in the most difficult, most uncertain time, perhaps of the whole pandemic, certainly since March of 2020.”

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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