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Tue 18th Jan 2022 - Hospitality restrictions to ease in Scotland from Monday, no extension to covid passport scheme
Hospitality restrictions to ease in Scotland from Monday, no extension to covid passport scheme: Scotland’s covid-19 restrictions will be eased from Monday (24 January) – with nightclubs reopening, large indoor events resuming and social distancing rules dropped. Guidance advising adults against meeting up with more than three households at a time will also be scrapped, but Scots are still being asked to work from home and to take lateral flow tests before meeting with others. Ministers have also decided against extending the vaccine passport scheme to more hospitality settings “at this stage”. Restrictions on crowds at large outdoor events were lifted earlier this week. Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said there had been a significant fall in the number of new infections over the past two weeks, with 20,268 positive cases reported over the past three days compared with 36,526 over the same three days last week. The percentage of tests coming back positive has also dropped from almost 30% in early January to under 20%. Sturgeon said: “I can confirm today that all of these measures will be lifted from next Monday. However, it is important to stress this point. Notwithstanding the improving situation, the level of covid infection circulating in the community is still high. So, to minimise the risk of us getting the virus, it would be sensible for all of us to remain cautious in our social interactions at this stage.” Following Sturgeon’s announcement, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton spoke up for what he the “hobbled” hospitality sector, saying that people have to trust that if restrictions are needed in the future, they should be based in transparency and science “they can see”. Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said any further changes in restrictions “cannot be ad hoc” and need “clear trigger points” and asked for a meaningful debate on a framework. Scottish Conservative health spokesman Sandesh Gulhane called for the working from home guidance to be eased too and called the vaccination passport scheme “a dud”, calling for it to be scrapped altogether.


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