Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that, for three weeks from 26 December, live events in Scotland will be capped to a maximum of 500 people.
Outdoor live events, including football matches, will be limited to 500 people. Indoor seated events will be limited to 200 people, and indoor standing events will be limited to just 100 people. Non-professional indoor contact sports will be banned for the three-week duration.
The First Minister said:
“This will of course make sports matches, including football, effectively spectator-free over this three-week period.”
The news means that New Years Eve gatherings and parties will be cancelled, including the popular annual Hogmanay celebrations that take place in Edinburgh.
It was also stated that, while restaurants and bars can remain open, they may only provide table service, after the 27th. For every event that does occur, social distancing of at least 1 metre is required.
Ms Sturgeon repeated that there would be no additional guidance put in place for before the 26th, beyond the current guidance for not mixing more than 3 households given last week.
“We are not changing the advice for Christmas I set out last week … I want to be clear to individuals that the advice I gave out last week is the advice that will take us through Christmas.”
Scotland has seen a rapid increase in COVID cases, especially omicron cases, with 62.9% of new cases believed to be of the omicron variant, compared to just 27.5% of cases at the same time last week. Nicola Sturgeon announced that the Omicron variant is estimated to have an R number “well above 3.”