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COVID Update August 2021

On Tuesday 3 August the First Minister provided an update to the Scottish Parliament on pandemic-related restrictions.

It was confirmed that the whole of Scotland will move beyond level 0 from Monday 9 August, although the First Minister stressed this did not mean a return to life exactly as it was pre-pandemic with a number of mitigating measures remaining.

The key points from the statement were:

Legal restrictions: Most legal restrictions will be lifted. This includes legal restrictions on physical distancing and the size of social gatherings. No businesses will legally have to remain closed.

Mitigations: A number of mitigating measures will remain in place. These include:

Face coverings: The current legal requirements to wear face coverings in some indoor settings will remain in place for some time to come.
Test & Protect: The Test and Protect system will remain in place to support contact tracing.
Local outbreak management: Scottish Government will retain the option of putting in place local measures and travel restrictions to manage local outbreaks.
Events: The process for approving large-scale events will remain in place, with approval required from local authorities for events of over 5,000 people outdoor or over 2,000 people indoors.
Guidance: Businesses will be offered guidance on areas such as ventilation and hygiene to reduce the risk of transmission. The public are still being advised to keep a safe distance, especially indoors, from people in other households and avoid crowded places to minimise risk.

Self-isolation: Those with symptoms or testing positive will still be required to self-isolate. Close contacts over 17 who have been double vaccinated more than two weeks ago and with no symptoms will be able to get a PCR test and end self-isolation if negative. All under 17s will also be able to use this process (which will be encouraged but not required for under 5s).

Schools: Updated guidance for schools was published on Tuesday 3 August. There will be no blanket self-isolation required for whole classes. During the first 6 weeks of term most other mitigations will remain in place, including physical distancing by staff and face coverings to be worn by all over 12s.