Scotland to move beyond level 0 from Monday 9th August
In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday 3rd August the First Minister announced that Scotland will move beyond level zero from Monday 9th August, meaning that the legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed and all venues across Scotland will be able to re-open.
Some protective measures will stay in place 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.
In addition, adults identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for 10 days from 9 August. Anyone who is double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test. The same conditions will also apply to anyone aged between five and 17 years old, even if they have not been vaccinated. The requirement to take a PCR test will not apply to children under the age of five.
Test and Protect will also implement revised guidance for under 18s. This means that the blanket isolation of whole classes in schools will no longer happen and a targeted approach, that only identifies children and young people who are higher risk close contacts, will be adopted. Fewer young people will have to self-isolate, and most will be asked to self-isolate for a much shorter period of time. To allow time to monitor the impacts of these changes, the majority of the mitigations that were in place in schools in the previous term will be retained for up to six weeks. This will help support a safe and sustainable return to education after the summer break.
While the gateway condition on vaccination has been met, with 92% of those over the age of 40 protected by two doses of the vaccine, there are still many more people who have not had the vaccine, cannot have it, or are not yet eligible for it. Invitations for vaccines are now going out to 12 to 17 year olds with specific health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid. This follows the recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. We expect to have offered first doses to this group by the end of August.
You can read the First Minister’s full statement here.
Vicki Unite, Chief Executive of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, said:
“It was expected, but nonetheless welcome news for our businesses and it is important that we all now look forward rather than back at the devastation that the virus has caused.
It is a new business landscape that we all face where conditions are totally different than before, and it is crucial that we all adapt to the changes as quickly as we can.
That said, many businesses have been forced to take on debt to survive and for them there is no quick fix. The ramifications of the last 17 months will be with them for some time to come.
With our town and city centre offices gradually reopening there is hope that these areas can be rejuvenated, and that the inevitable economic knock-on effect will take place sooner rather than later.
What we do need now however is a timetable of certainty when we can move towards a removal of restrictions across the board and businesses in all sectors can be totally clear about what they can do moving forward.”
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