Scotland Covid rules explained: What new changes will come into effect on Monday, August 9?

Most of the remaining Covid restrictions in Scotland are to be scrapped from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has said, but a handful of rules are set to remain in place.

The First Minister told MSPs that the country could move beyond Level 0 – the lowest level of a five tier system of restrictions in Scotland – due to the “steady decline in cases” and “the success of vaccination”.

Will Scots still have to perform social distancing?

From Monday, August 9, physical or social distancing will no longer be required.

Limits on the size of gatherings will also be lifted - allowing large-scale events to take place.

Schools, however, will retain a one-metre social distancing rule for the time-being, which will be kept under review by the Scottish Government.

Will self-isolation rules change?

From Monday, close contacts of those who test positive for Covid will no longer be required to automatically self-isolate for 10 days if a negative test result is received.

Most of the remaining Covid restrictions in Scotland are to be scrapped from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has said, but a handful of rules are set to remain in place.

A double-vaccinated Scot, who has at least two weeks since their last dose, will be able to take a PCR test that would allow them to abandon self-isolation if they test negative.

Young people under the age of 17 will also be able to end self-isolation if they test negative, while those under five years old will be “encouraged” but not required to take a test.

As a result of the changes, blanket self-isolations for whole school classes will no longer be required.

Will Scotland start to use ‘Covid Passports’?

The First Minister confirmed to MSPs that her government was “carefully” considering “the possible, albeit limited, use of Covid status certification for access to certain higher risk venues in future”.

She also said that an app is under development to allow for such certification for those travelling abroad, but it will also allow for vaccine certification domestically.

Will we still have to wear face coverings?

The First Minister said the legal requirement to wear face mask will remain for “some time to come”.

Face masks will also have to be worn during lessons by secondary pupils when schools return.

Ms Sturgeon said: “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.”

The Scottish Government will also require schools to have access to CO2 monitors to ensure appropriate ventilation, backed by £10 million of investment.

Test and Protect rules will stay in place

The First Minister confirmed that Scotland’s Test and Protect efforts will continue, as will contact tracing of positive cases.

Pubs and restraints must continue to collect customer details too.

Will I still have to work from home?

The Scottish Government will continue to advise Scots to work from home after August 9.

Ms Sturgeon told MSPs that while the changes “will restore a substantial degree of normality”, they do “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 premature,” she added.

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.