From Monday next week, large outdoor events in Scotland will be able to go ahead without physical distancing or capacity limits, while measures covering indoor events will be reviewed on January 18. 

In December, the Scottish Government cancelled some large-scale events and limited attendance numbers at others, including sporting matches, in a bid to reduce the spread of the Omicron variant. 

Since Boxing Day, indoor venues such as theatres and concert halls in the country have had capacity limits of 200 for seated events and 100 for standing events. Outdoor events were limited to 500 people but will now be able to operate without capacity limits, while indoor event organisers will have to wait for a decision next week.

If Members of Scottish Parliament (MSPs) decide to go ahead with the lifting of restrictions for indoor events, this could begin as early as January 24. 

To support the move of lifting capacity limits on outdoor events, the COVID certification scheme will remain in place. Organisers of all events with more than 1,000 attendees will have to check a minimum of 50% of ticket holders for proof of vaccination against COVID-19, exemption or a recent negative test.  To be considered fully vaccinated against coronavirus, patrons will also need to have received their booster jab, if their second jab was given more than four months prior.  

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured) said: “We remain in a highly challenging phase of the pandemic. Case numbers are high, and the impacts of that are severe, and the trajectory does remain uncertain at this stage.

“But, because of the efforts we have all made, we are in a better position than I feared would be the case when additional measures were announced in December, and I do hope we are now seeing signs of improvement.

“That is allowing us to start the process from Monday of lifting the additional restrictions – and I hope that next week I will be able to confirm the further steps in that process.”

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