All Scottish hospitality to reopen August 9

Restrictions on physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed, however some protective measures will remain in place

All Scottish hospitality venues will be legally allowed to reopen from August 9, after the legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed, first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed. 

As Scotland moves beyond level 0, nightclubs can reopen for the first time since 2020 and pubs and restaurants can increase capacity. 

However, some protective measures will continue such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect.

Capacity limits of 2000 people indoors and 5000 people outdoors will also remain in place, although some exceptions may be possible on a case by case basis. These will be reviewed on a three weekly basis to ensure they remain proportionate.

Vaccinated adults with at least two weeks passed since their second dose will no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for ten days. If they return a negative PCR test they will be able to end self-isolation, with the same applying to anyone aged five to seventeen.

Sturgeon said: “The move beyond level 0 will entail the lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions – most notably, on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings. It also means that from 9 August, no venues will be legally required to close.

“This change is significant and it is hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year and a half can never be overstated. However, while this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck.”

She added: “Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is in my view premature. The harm the virus can do, including through the impact of long Covid, should not be underestimated. And its ability to mutate may yet pose us real challenges.”


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