Three changes to Scotland's Covid rules coming into force from Monday

By Daniel Morrow

Nicola Sturgeon announced some changes to the current Covid restrictions yesterday as Scotland continues to battle its way through the Omicron wave of the virus.

The First Minister addressed MSPs during her weekly update on the state of the virus in Holyrood on Tuesday afternoon.

During her 20 minute speech, Sturgeon announced changes to the rules on large outdoor gatherings and the Covid passport scheme at these events.

The SNP leader said the latest data on coronavirus in Scotland was ‘encouraging’ and the situation in the country’s hospitals appears to be ‘improving’.

Sturgeon urged Scots to remain ‘cautious’ as the daily infection figures from Covid remain in their tens of thousands following the festive period.

But it is said that the rise in cases has fallen in the past week across all age groups, apart from the over 85s.

“The increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant is still causing very high levels of infection here in Scotland, across the UK and in many cases around the world”, she said.

“However, while the situation - not least for the NHS - does remain very challenging, there are some early indications in the data that offer some encouragement.”

“It is very likely the situation we face now, though serious, would have been more challenging without the renewed sacrifices made by people across the country over these past few weeks.”

Here are the changes to the rules that will be in place across Scotland as of next Monday.

Large outdoor gatherings

Capacity crowds will return to Scotland's stadiums from this Monday (Getty Images)

Large outdoor events will be able to resume without physical distancing or capacity limits from 00.01 on Monday, January 17.

This means that large numbers of Scots will be able to attend football matches once again, while giving the green light to capacity crowds for the 6 Nations matches at Murrayfield next month.

The Scottish Government say that the decision was made following a review of the measures in place to limit the spread of Covid.

Covid passport scheme

Changes to the vaccine passport scheme were announced yesterday (PA)

Scots will still be required to show their Covid vaccine status, or a negative lateral flow test, to gain entry into these events - but some changes to the scheme were announced.

Organisers of all events with more than 1,000 people will be expected to check a minimum of 50 per cent of attendees for their vaccination status, exemption or negative test.

The vaccine passport scheme will continue to apply to large indoor events and nightclubs.

Definition of ‘fully vaccinated’

The definition of being ‘fully vaccinated’ for the purposes of the Covid passport scheme will also change from Monday.

Scots will now be required to show that they have had the booster jag to be considered ‘fully vaccinated’, if their last vaccine dose was more than four months ago under the new rules.

The NHS Scotland Covid Status app will be updated from this Thursday to include this information.

Updated paper and PDF certificates are also already available on request from the NHS inform website or helpline.


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