Covid rule changes being considered by the Scottish Government before Christmas

Scotland’s covid rules may change before Christmas.

Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday updated the Scottish Parliament on the current state of the pandemic and warned that tighter measures could be needed to control the virus as we enter the winter.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet are currently considering possible changes that will take effect on December 6, if approved.

Here are what changes could potentially be ahead

The most important change is the extension of the covid certification scheme.

Currently, proof of vaccination is only required for persons over 18 years of age if they enter nightclubs, unoccupied indoor events with more than 500 people, unoccupied outdoor events with more than 4,000 people and any event with more than 10,000 people in attendance.

The Scottish Government is currently considering extending this to include indoor cinemas, theaters and some other licensed and hospitality venues such as pubs and cafes.

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Will covid testing be allowed as an alternative to vaccine proof?

The Scottish Government is actively considering allowing a negative covid test to be used as an alternative to proof that you have been double-vaccinated. A decision on this is also expected next Tuesday.

Will there be exceptions to the new rules?

Yes. There would be exceptions for those under 18; for those who cannot be vaccinated or tested for medical reasons; for persons in clinical trials; and for those who work at events or in places covered by the scheme. Exceptions will also be retained for worship, weddings, funerals and related gatherings.

Why are the new initiatives being discussed?

Despite Scotland being the most vaccinated country in the UK, we are currently seeing an increase in cases and an ‘extremely high’ number of covid patients in hospital.

As we enter the winter, the number of people in the hospital is expected to continue to increase.

Nicola Sturgeon said the figures reported in recent days and the situation experienced across Europe ‘illustrate the need for continued action’.

However, the Prime Minister said she wants to keep the companies fully open during the Christmas period and into the winter and is looking at ways to make this possible – the extension of the covid certificate is one of them.

When will a decision be made?

A decision on the changes is expected to be made next week with any measures coming into force on 6 December.


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