What Covid rules will change on 19 July? Full list of Scotland restrictions easing as country moves to Level 0

Here’s what you can expect when lockdown rules are lifted in Scotland today – from mask wearing to self isolation when returning from amber list countries

Scotland will move to Level 0 today (19 July), allowing for more lockdown restrictions to be lifted.

Nicola Sturgeon confirmed in her address to Holyrood on Tuesday (13 July) that the further easing of Covid rules would go ahead on Monday, but there would be “modifications”.

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Measures surrounding hospitality venues and social gatherings will be scrapped, but some restrictions, such as mandatory mask wearing, will remain.

Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland will move into Level 0 Covid restrictions from 19 July (Getty Images)Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland will move into Level 0 Covid restrictions from 19 July (Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed Scotland will move into Level 0 Covid restrictions from 19 July (Getty Images)

The mainland will join the island communities already in the lowest level of restrictions, despite the recent surge in infection rates.

So, what restrictions will change on 19 July?

Here’s what you need to know.

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Is Scotland moving to Level 0 on 19 July?

As planned, the rest of the country will move to Level 0 on Monday, Ms Sturgeon announced.

The whole country was originally scheduled to move to the lowest level on 28 June, but the lifting of restrictions was pushed back by three weeks to allow for more vaccinations to take place.

Now, measures will be relaxed on 19 July - the same date as all legal remaining restrictions are scrapped in England.

However, some rules will continue to apply, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings.

"Lifting all restrictions right now would put all of us at greater risk,” the SNP leader told MSPs.

"A gradual approach stands the best chance of minimising further health harm and loss of life.”

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Scots could be afforded greater freedoms on 9 August when more rules are scheduled to be eased, including the end of social distancing indoors.

What restrictions will change then?

Many things will change in day-to-day life for Scots from 19 July when the country moves to Level 0.

But certain “modifications” to restrictions will come into place, including a curfew on hospitality venues and a limit on outdoor social gatherings.

Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, along with other smaller islands, have been in Level 0 since 5 June.

Social gatherings

Ten adults from four households are able to meet in indoor public places such as cafes and pubs in Level 0, while eight people from four households can meet indoors at home.

Meanwhile, 15 adults from 15 households can meet outdoors in a private garden or public place.

It was hoped that the cap on the size of informal outdoor social gatherings would be removed from 19 July.

However, the limit of 15 will remain for now for “precautionary reasons”, Ms Sturgeon confirmed.

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There will be no need to distance within groups of 15 as meeting outdoors is less risky than indoors.

Children under 12 don’t count towards the total number of people, and from Monday, they will not count towards the total number of households.

Social distancing

But people will need to keep a social distance of 1m between different groups of 15 who meet up outside for at least the next three weeks.

Indoors in public places, social distancing will be reduced from two metres to one. This rule will apply between different household groups.

Hospitality venues

Pubs and restaurants will be required to close at midnight in Level 0.

Yet customers will no longer need to pre-book a two-hour slot for a pub or restaurant.

They will still need to give their details for Test and Protect.

Face coverings will still be required in hospitality venues except when seated.

Soft play centres

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Soft play centres are able to open in Level 0 after months of closures.


Outdoor standing events will still be limited with a capacity of 1,000, while 2,000 will be allowed at seated or open space events.

Meanwhile, the capacity for seated indoor events goes up to 400 people.

Organisers will be able to apply to stage larger events.

Weddings and funerals

Ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, can be attended by up to 200 guests in this level.

Office working

People will still be asked to work from home where they can in Level 0.

It was hoped there would be a limited phased return to offices from 19 July, but this has been postponed until after 9 August at least.

Nighttime entertainment

The nighttime entertainment sector will need to wait a little longer for restrictions to ease.

Nightclubs and adult entertainment venues will remain closed except for use in “limited circumstances”.

Self-isolation from amber countries

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Fully jabbed adults who are arriving from countries on the amber list will no longer have to quarantine from 19 July, as long as they have been inoculated through a UK vaccination programme.

However, travellers must also still take a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to Scotland.

"We will continue to take a precautionary approach to the inclusion of countries on the amber list,” Ms Sturgeon told MSPs during her update to Holyrood.

"And, notwithstanding this change, we continue to advise against non essential overseas travel at this time."

What will happen after that?

After 19 July, if all goes to plan, all remaining legal measures could be scrapped on 9 August - including social distancing.

At this point, the country could return to almost complete normality.

However, this proposed date could be brought forward or pushed back depending on the pandemic situation in Scotland.

If the Covid vaccine continues to break the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths, and as more people are inoculated, it is possible that Freedom Day will go ahead then.

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Some minor rules may remain, though, like people still being required to wear face coverings in some settings, compliance with contact tracing and good hand hygiene.

The government will also not advise an immediate return to office working on 9 August.

But those who have received two doses of the vaccine who are close contacts of someone with Covid will no longer have to self-isolate, if at least two weeks have passed since they got their second jab.

And from 19 July, self-isolation will no longer be required for fully vaccinated people arriving from amber list countries, in a move which mirrors the rule set out in England.



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