Scotland to lift all Omicron coronavirus restrictions from Monday

18 January 2022, 15:13 | Updated: 18 January 2022, 16:18

Nightclubs in Scotland will reopen on Monday
Nightclubs in Scotland will reopen on Monday. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

All of Scotland's coronavirus restrictions introduced in response to the Omicron variant will be brought to an end next Monday.

Nightclub will reopen and the requirement for table service in hospitality will come to an end, while attendance limits on indoor events will also be lifted.

There was previously a three-household limit on indoor gatherings.

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However, people will still be asked to work from home.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Scotland is now on a "downward slope" of infections, but added despite a "significant fall" in new cases the NHS remained under "acute pressure".

She told the Scottish Parliament: "It is important to stress this point: notwithstanding the improving situation, the level of Covid infection circulating in the community is still high.

"So to minimise the risk of us getting the virus it would be sensible for all of us to remain cautious in our social interactions at this stage."

On working from home, she said: "We will engage with business now about a return to a more hybrid approach from the start of February."

Ms Sturgeon added that baseline coronavirus measures which were in place before the Omicron wave will remain.

"That means face coverings must still be worn in public indoor settings and on public transport," she told MSPs

The First Minister also announced the Scottish Government would not be expanding its vaccine certification scheme into new venues, calling it "undoubtedly the most difficult decision we faced this morning".

Ms Sturgeon said: "Our conclusion today, given the improving situation, is that extending certification would not be proportionate at this stage."

She urged Scots who have not yet had their vaccine booster jab to come forward, saying: "There are still more than 600,000 people over the age of 18 who are eligible for a booster, but haven't yet had it. And there are hundreds of thousands more who have not yet had a first or second dose."

Scotland has recorded another 31 coronavirus deaths, as well as 7,752 more cases of people being infected with the virus.

The latest deaths takes the total number of people who have died within 28 days of contracting Covid-19 to 10,093 in Scotland.