Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that nearly all of Scotland’s remaining Covid restrictions will come to an end on August 9.
In a virtual parliamentary sitting on Tuesday, the First Minister said that most legal restrictions – including those on social distancing and limits on the size of gatherings – will be lifted, allowing large-scale events to take place.
Ms Sturgeon said that the country will be able to move beyond Level 0 as a result of the "steady decline in cases" and "the success of vaccination".
She also confirmed that close contacts of those who test positive for Covid will no longer be required to automatically self-isolate for 10 days if they receive a negative PCR test.
However, the First Minister announced that the legal requirement to wear face mask will remain in certain public settings for "some time to come". She added that pubs and restaurants will still be required to collect contact details of customers and home working will continue to be advised.
Ms Sturgeon added that despite the country’s success in battling the pandemic, restrictions could still be reimposed.
"We all hope – I know I certainly do – that the restrictions we lift next Monday will never again have to be re-imposed. But no-one can guarantee that," she said. "This virus remains a threat – and as we enter winter, it may well pose challenges for us again."
What rules will change in Scotland on August 9?
Scotland will move beyond Level 0 on August 9, bringing an end to the majority of Covid restrictions.
There will be no longer be a limit on the number of people allowed to meet in indoor or outdoor settings, and the guidance on social distancing will be lifted.
Scots who come into close contact with a positive case will not need to self-isolate, provided that they are double vaccinated and receive a negative PCR test.
However, face masks will still be a legal requirement in certain settings and the contact details of customers in pubs and restaurants will still need to be collected.
The majority of restrictions in Scotland, such as the number of people able to gather in pubs, will come to an end on August 9
Credit: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images Europe
Ms Sturgeon also confirmed that face masks will have to be worn during lessons by secondary pupils when schools return.
Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: "I am acutely aware that many young people find this difficult – and it will be kept under review – but for now, we consider this an important protection for them, and for others in the school."
Furthermore, secondary pupils and school staff will be asked to take lateral flow tests before they return, followed by regular testing in the future.
The Scottish Government will also require schools to have access to CO2 monitors to ensure there is adequate ventilation, which will be backed by £10 million of investment.
Can I travel to Scotland?
Travel to and from England is allowed.
In terms of travelling abroad, a system similar to that set out by the Government in Westminster has been put in place in Scotland, meaning that countries are classified as green, amber and red and a review takes place every four weeks.
International travel is permitted for many countries, although the requirement to isolate upon return remains for arrivals from certain nations
Self-isolation for those arriving in the UK from ‘amber list’ countries ended on July 19, provided that travellers have received both doses of a vaccine through the UK’s vaccination programme and a PCR test is conducted on the second day after arrival.
Hotel quarantine is still required for people returning from ‘red list’ countries.
Read more: Travel advice for holidays to Scotland