Scotland's mix of coronavirus rules will find favour with the cautious - Scotsman leader comment

The relaxation of Scotland's physical distancing rules from next Monday is news that is bound to raise some cheer across the country, but is likely to also bring confusion and complaints about inconsistency.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that most Covid-19 restrictions will be lifted from August 9 - but a number will still remain. PIC: JPI Media.

The greatest relief is likely to be among those who work in - and frequent - theatres, live music venues and nightclubs. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday that they would be allowed to reopen from Monday, having lain dark for 18 months.

After such a long hiatus, there will be some venues which never reopen. For those which have managed to stagger on, yesterday's announcement was a long-awaited lifeline. Nightclubs will hope the potential requirement for masked dancing will be dropped.

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Church-goers and secondary school pupils are unlikely to be so lucky, however, and may wonder why: if there is science behind the latest inclusions and exceptions, we have yet to hear it.

Read More

Read More
Covid Scotland: Coronavirus restrictions set to be lifted | When will Scotland m...

Fans of live sport may, too, be guarded in their enthusiasm. Many will have been eyeing fixture lists for late August and September, dreaming of being back among large crowds. Yesterday's statement did not kill that hope, but nor did it encourage it. Raucous full houses for big European matches in the weeks to come, and an Old Firm clash at Ibrox at the end of the month, appear unlikely.

At least, unlike the arts sector, sport fans had been enjoying a limited return to attendance this summer, and top-flight football had been able to continue through much of lockdown. Our arts venues, and night-time economy, enjoyed no such freedom.

In truth, yesterday's announcement still bore the hallmarks of Sturgeon's cautious approach to a return from the coronavirus pandemic, mindful of the horrors we have witnessed since the start of 2020 and also, perhaps, aware of the benefits of maintaining some clear differences in policy from a UK government regarded by some as irresponsible in its enthusiasm to unlock.

For all the frustrations for businesses hit so hard by this crisis, and all the confusion of this very gradual return to life, Sturgeon's caution will likely find favour with many Scots, still themselves considering how best to re-engage with the world after 18 months of darkness.

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.