Restrictions on live events will remain in place in Scotland – with new Covid control measures expected ‘in a few weeks’

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The Celtic Connections music festival in Glasgow is expected to return later this month. Photo: Gaelle Beri-

Crowds will be capped at just 500 for outdoor events and 200 for indoor performances until January 17 as part of the Scottish Government’s strategy to prevent the new Omicoron variant of Covid from spreading in the “high risk” environments.

Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the current pressures on health services and the high rates of Covid in the country – which suggest that one in 20 people was infected last week – were likely to be even more severe without restrictions on potential “super-propagation” events.

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However, she admitted that the current restrictions on public life in Scotland were “not lasting indefinitely” and suggested that new ways of dealing with Covid would be more proportionate and sustainable, and less restrictive.

Hundreds of events and shows have been canceled after the Scottish government announced new restrictions on live events four days before Christmas for “up to three weeks”.

However, Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, has since suggested large-scale events may not be possible for months.

The current measures, which took effect on Boxing Day, insist that a physical distance of one meter is enforced in all indoor and outdoor environments, and could impact events like the music festival. Celtic Connections from Glasgow, which is due to start on January 20.

Ms Sturgeon said: “With the virus so prevalent, we consider it important to continue to curb transmission, especially in the highest risk settings.

“As a result, I can confirm that the restrictions on large gatherings, the requirement for distance between groups in indoor public places and for table service at hospitality venues serving alcohol on site will remain in effect. for now and, I think, until January 17th.

“While not a legal requirement, we continue to advise the general public to limit contact with persons from other households as much as possible and to limit the number of households in any indoor gathering to a maximum of three.

“After two long years of this pandemic, asking people to cut off all social interaction is not feasible – and it would hurt mental health and well-being.

“However, it’s important to limit contact and think carefully about the interactions that matter most to us right now.”

Ms Sturgeon said the government needs to adapt its thinking on how to handle Covid and become ‘more resilient’ to the virus in the future given that it is unlikely to ‘go away’ or that Omicron will be the last. new variant to emerge.

She added, “Be clear. That doesn’t mean, in my opinion, giving up trying to control it at all – the impact of Covid on individual health and on our collective well-being is too great for that.

“But that means looking for ways to do it that are more proportionate and sustainable and less restrictive.

“There are no easy answers here, but adapting to the permanent challenge of Covid is essential.

“The Scottish Government is currently working on, and will publish in the coming weeks, a revised policy framework, which will further define how this adaptation process can be managed.”


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