What happens when Scotland moves to Level 0 of Covid restrictions – and beyond?

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the whole of Scotland will move to Level 0 –  the lowest level of the Scottish Government’s five-tier system of coronavirus restrictions – on Monday.

Currently, Orkney, Shetland, the Western Isles, all islands in the Highland Council except Skye, and many islands in the Argyll and Bute Council area are in Level 0.

Many of the local authority areas across central Scotland – Glasgow City, Edinburgh, Clackmannanshire, Dundee City, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Renfrewshire, Midlothian, North Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, South Ayrshire and Stirling – are in Level 2, with stricter restrictions on hospitality and meeting indoors and outdoors, with the remainder of the country in Level 1.

Weekly rate of new Covid-19 cases in the UK
(PA Graphics)

Up to eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at home, compared to six people from three households in levels 1 and 2.

Up to 10 people from up to four households can meet in a public indoor space, such as a pub or restaurant, up from eight people from three households in Level 1. Physical distancing in all these venues will be reduced to one metre.

Up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors – whether in a private garden or public place, a rise on 12 people from 12 households at Level 1.

Children under 12 will no longer count towards the total number of households indoors (they already do not count towards the total number of people or households outdoors).

The number of guests allowed at weddings will double (Peter Byrne/PA)

Limits on audiences at events will double from Level 1, allowing audiences outdoors of 2,000 seated and 1,000 standing, with indoors rising to 400.

Hospitality venues will be required to close at midnight, rather than at 11pm in Level 1.

People given two doses of a coronavirus vaccine in the UK will no longer be required to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival from countries on the amber list, provided they take a PCR test on the second day after arrival. However, the Scottish Government continues to advise against non-essential overseas travel.

– What’s happening on August 9?

Further changes are planned for this date, subject to a final confirmation in an update to the Scottish Parliament the preceding week.

Ms Sturgeon previously said all major legal Covid-19 restrictions are set to be lifted on this date if the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction continue.

However, on Tuesday she said people will be asked to take necessary precautions, such as wearing face masks, “for as long as necessary”, including after August 9.

Close contacts of a person with coronavirus will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days, as long as they have received their second vaccination at least two weeks previously and return a negative PCR test.

The First Minister said a gradual return to the office can take place from this date.

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