Scotland to move beyond level 0 on August 9th

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SCOTLAND will move beyond level 0 within the next week after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the country’s next steps back to normality.

The legal requirement for physical distancing and limits on gatherings will be removed on the 9th August when all venues across Scotland are able to re-open.

Some protective measures will stay in place such as the use of face coverings indoors and the collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect.

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The First Minister announced the latest steps in her Covid briefing yesterday where she spoke of the changes set to come into play next Monday.

Adults identified as close contacts of someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer be automatically required to self-isolate for 10 days from 9 August.

Anyone who is double-vaccinated with at least two weeks passed since their second dose and who has no symptoms will be able to end self-isolation if they return a negative PCR test.

The same conditions will also apply to anyone aged between five and 17 years old, even if they have not been vaccinated.

The requirement to take a PCR test will not apply to children under the age of five.

However, capacity limits of 2000 people indoors and 5000 people outdoors will remain in place although some exceptions may be possible on a case by case basis.

These will be reviewed on a three weekly basis to ensure they remain proportionate.

Revised guidence for under 18’s from Test and Protect will also be implemented meaning that the blanket isolation of whole classes in schools will no longer happen.

Instead a targeted approach, that only identifies children and young people who are higher risk close contacts, will be adopted.

Fewer young people will have to self-isolate, and most will be asked to self-isolate for a much shorter period of time.

To allow time to monitor the impacts of these changes, the government has announced that the majority of the mitigations that were in place in schools in the previous term will be retained for up to six weeks.

This will help support a safe and sustainable return to education after the summer break.

Invitations for vaccines are now going out to 12 to 17 year olds with specific health conditions that make them more vulnerable to Covid.

This follows the recent advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. We expect to have offered first doses to this group by the end of August.

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The First Minister announced the next steps to the country yesterday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The move beyond level 0 will entail the lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions – most notably, on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings.

“It also means that from 9 August, no venues will be legally required to close.

“This change is significant and it is hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year and a half can never be overstated.

“However, while this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck.

“Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is in my view premature. The harm the virus can do, including through the impact of long Covid, should not be underestimated. And its ability to mutate may yet pose us real challenges.”