New closures

Hogmanay parties cancelled, football crowds banned


Football matches will again be played in empty stadiums (pic: SNS Group)

Nicola Sturgeon has cancelled large scale New Year parties and ordered football grounds to close.

The new rules apply from 26 December for up to three weeks in order to tackle the Omicron outbreak.

Non-professional indoor contact sports for adults should not take place during this period.

From 27 December for three weeks all hospitality venues in Scotland will have to operate on a table service only basis if they serve alcohol. The one-metre physical distancing rule will be re-introduced.

Groups of people will be limited to three households.

The limits are:

  • 100 people at indoor standing events
  • 200 people at indoor seating events
  • 500 people at outdoor events (seated or standing)

This does not apply to private life events such as weddings.

Ms Sturgeon says that it remains the Scottish government’s priority to “open schools as normal” after the festive holiday.

The new rules mean Edinburgh’s famous street party, along with other large scale events around country, will not take place. The Old Firm match on 2 January will be played behind closed doors.

The First Minister’s statement to MPs came after the Chancellor unveiled a £1 billion package of support for the hospitality and leisure industries, including £80m for Scotland.

Liz Cameron, chief executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said businesses “urgently need to see the guidance and regulations that underpin this announcement to understand the full impact these changes will have on their capacity, how they operate and if they will even be able to open at all.”

She said the announcement of further additional financial support from the UK and Scottish Government “does not go anywhere near far enough to compensating for the enormous financial losses firms are experiencing.”

She warned: “January is beginning to look increasingly bleak for businesses and the prospect of an early return to economic growth in the New Year is now clearly at risk.”

See also: Clubs call for winter break to be brought forward

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