Scotland lifts most Covid restrictions with nightclubs able to reopen

9 August 2021, 07:37 | Updated: 9 August 2021, 08:13

Face masks will still be needed indoors, despite the easing of Covid restrictions.
Face masks will still be needed indoors, despite the easing of Covid restrictions. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Most coronavirus restrictions have been lifted in Scotland, allowing venues such as nightclubs to reopen for the first time in over a year.

The country moved beyond Level 0 at midnight, meaning the lifting of restrictions such as social distancing - except in healthcare settings.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs last week that she would be moving forward with the unlocking of the country due to the "steady decline in cases" and "the success of vaccination".

However, face coverings will still be legally required indoors in public places and on public transport, Ms Sturgeon previously said.

The number of new coronavirus infections reached a peak of 4,234 on 1 July but the average number of daily cases during August has been 1,172, according to Scottish Government statistics.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon confirms Scotland to drop most legal Covid restrictions

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke to MSPs during a virtual sitting of the Scottish Parliament.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon spoke to MSPs during a virtual sitting of the Scottish Parliament. Picture: Alamy

Under the revised rules, fully vaccinated adults and all children are able to avoid self-isolation if they are in close contact with someone with the virus as long as they are symptomless and provide a negative PCR test.

As a result of this, whole school classes will not have to stay at home if an infection is discovered, although children and adults who are higher-risk close contacts will be told to isolate.

Pupils and teachers will also have to continue wearing masks indoors for up to six weeks after schools return, the government said.

As for large events, those outdoors with more than 5,000 people and indoors with more than 2,000 will have to apply for permission from local authorities and the government to go ahead.

Read more: Scotland and Northern Ireland announce changes to travel lists

Nightclubs were among the last venues to be allowed to reopen in Scotland on Monday, long after bars were allowed to welcome back customers.

From midnight, party-goers returned to clubs as they opened their doors for the first time in 506 days, vowing to be "out every night".

In Glasgow, dancers took to the floor at the Boteco Do Brasil club.

Martin Stewart, 24, from the city, was among the crowd and said he was glad to be back.

"It's been a long wait - I'll be out till closing," he said.

At Polo Lounge, an LGBTQ inclusive club, Luke Dunsmuir, 19, from Strathbungo, said he was eager to get back, having been nightclubbing since he was 15.

He said his next few weeks would be "busy busy".

"Out every night, just you wait, you'll be seeing my face everywhere," he added.

Following initial confusion, the Scottish Government clarified that masks would not have to be worn when dancing or drinking.

Ms Sturgeon urged the public to "continue to take sensible precautions", despite many of the legal coronavirus rules being lifted.

A total of 3,323,466 Scots have been fully vaccinated while 4,024,852 have received at least one dose.