Relaxations to attendance rules on events such as weddings and funerals will come into place on Monday 28 June as Covid-19 restrictions continue to be eased.
During a statement to the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also confirmed that from 19 July physical distancing outdoors will be removed and physical distancing for indoor public areas will reduce to one metre if the data on disease spread allows.
Limits on outdoor gatherings will also be removed on this date given the reduced risk of outdoor transmission at this stage in the vaccination programme.
If the necessary conditions on vaccination and harm reduction continue to be met, all major remaining COVID restrictions will be lifted on 9 August.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “From 19 July, and then more substantially, from 9 August – assuming we are meeting our revised strategic aim of alleviating the harm of the virus – life should feel much less restricted for all of us.
“Up until now, the Scottish Government’s strategic intention has been to ‘suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there’.
"From now, our aim will be to ‘suppress the virus to a level consistent with alleviating its harms while we recover and rebuild for a better future’.
“Physical distancing has been an important mitigation against the virus but it is also burdensome for individuals and costly for businesses. So as vaccinations bear more of the load of controlling the virus, we need to consider when and to what extent we can reduce the legal requirement for it."
From 28 June
- suppliers and others employed at a wedding will no longer count towards the cap on attendance
- A bride, groom and other designated persons accompanying them no longer require to wear face-coverings when walking down the aisle
- live entertainment will be permitted at weddings
- more than one household will be permitted to carry the coffin and/or take a cord at funeral crematoriums and churches can relay funeral services to outside areas
From 19 July
- celebrations of life events such as christenings, bar mitzvahs and anniversaries will be permitted to take place under similar guidelines as weddings and funerals
- different households will be able to share a bedroom in tourist accommodation
Some measures are expected to continue beyond Level 0 including:
- good hand hygiene and surface cleaning
- continued promotion of good ventilation
- a requirement for face coverings in certain settings (e.g. public transport and retail)
- continued compliance with Test & Protect, including self-isolation when necessary
- an ongoing need for outbreak management capability, including active surveillance
- a greater degree of working from home than pre COVID-19 where this is possible and appropriate based on business and employee choice
The next review of restrictions will be on 13 July ahead of proposed changes commencing on 19 July.
Responding to the First Minister’s Statement, UKHospitality Scotland Executive Director said “Today’s announcement extends the difficulties being faced by hospitality businesses desperate to trade without restrictions.
“Whilst the delay in moving to Level 0 was expected, businesses have simply been placed in limbo and will need to wait weeks for the changes they desperately need. With no movement until at least 19 July, the summer season has been shortened for many, with businesses and employees facing continuing uncertainty.
“Many businesses in hospitality, including those reliant on business travel, corporate events, the wedding sector and night clubs, either remain closed or are unable to offer anything close to the experience that customers expect.
“The announcement of the publication of the physical distancing review and the steps after Level 0 will need scrutiny as no information on these was shared prior to today. The indicative date of 9 August for a further move to normality will seem a long time away for many businesses struggling with debt and restrictions are likely to still remain at that point.
“What was completely absent from the First Minister’s statement today was anything on business support. This is vital to ensure that businesses - which have already held on so long and are now at breaking point - can survive.”