18 Jan 2022
Additional measures aimed at stemming the spread of the Omicron variant whilst the vaccination booster programme took effect are to be lifted.
From 05:00 Monday 24 January, restrictions including one metre physical distancing in hospitality and leisure settings and table service in hospitality venues will not be required and attendance limits at indoor events will be removed. Non-professional indoor contact sports will also resume.
Nightclubs can reopen and whilst the Covid certification scheme will not be extended at this stage, regulations will be updated to ensure venues cannot avoid the scheme by putting tables on dancefloors whilst still allowing dancing.
People will continue to be asked to work from home whenever possible, with employers asked to facilitate this. However, the Government will engage with businesses now about a return to a more hybrid approach from the start of February if case numbers continue to decline.
The guidance to keep social interaction at home and in indoor public places to a maximum of three households is also being lifted but given case numbers remain high, the public are being asked to be cautious and to limit contacts where possible, in addition to taking lateral flow tests before meeting people from other households.
Further baseline measures including a requirement to collect customer details in hospitality settings, the use of face coverings in public places and on public transport in addition to the current Covid certification scheme will remain in place to limit the spread of Omicron and reduce pressure on essential services.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Because of the vaccination programme, and the efforts we have all made to curb transmission, our position is not as difficult as feared back in December. That is why we were able to lift the limits on outdoor events yesterday and why we are lifting other restrictions from next Monday.
“We are still in a very challenging position and the NHS remains under significant pressure, with the number of Covid cases still exceptionally high. Although we can be cautiously optimistic about our current position, we all still need to play our part in helping to slow the spread of the virus.
“The key ways in which all of us can do that include getting vaccinated as soon as you can, limiting and prioritising contacts that matter the most to you and taking lateral flow tests when you are planning to see other people.
“All of this makes a difference and is the reason why we have been able to start lifting restrictions and can look ahead to a much better spring and summer.”