Close monitoring of outbreaks ongoing.
Scotland will remain in Phase 3 of the route map out of lockdown because COVID-19 remains a significant threat to public health, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said.
In a statement to the Scottish Parliament the First Minister announced an earlier date for the re-opening of gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts, including dance studios. Subject to guidance, such facilities will now be able to re-open from 31 August rather than 14 September.
From 24 August organised outdoor contact sports, some outdoor live events, driving lessons, child contact centres, face-to-face advice services, bingo halls, amusement arcades and casinos, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling and both static and travelling funfairs can re-open – subject to strict adherence to guidance and appropriate safety measures such as physical distancing.
The First Minister also announced new measures to control the spread of coronavirus following outbreaks across the country.
She said that in reports of recent clusters indoor hospitality settings such as bars and restaurants and social events and gatherings in people’s homes have stood out as major risk factors.
Under new legislation local authorities will be given the power to act in respect of individual, specific premises that are breaching guidelines and risking transmission of the virus.
In addition, the Scottish Government intends to give the police new powers to break up and disperse large indoor gatherings.
Regulations will be laid next week with the intention they come into force on Friday 28 August.
The First Minister said:
“The prevalence of the virus continues to be at low levels in Scotland, but we are also recording more positive cases than three weeks ago and we have seen one significant outbreak in Aberdeen and a number of smaller clusters in locations across the country.
“I hope the re-opening of some services will be welcomed because we know it is essential to reduce the economic harm this virus is doing, but I hope people will also understand why, as we try to open services and keep them open, we must take firm action when rules and guidance are not being complied with.
“Two major risk factors have stood out in reports of recent clusters and these are indoor hospitality - including bars and restaurants - and social events and gatherings in people’s homes.
“I am grateful to all of the many pubs, restaurants and cafes who have gone to great lengths to stick to our rules, but we know not all hospitality businesses have implemented the guidance effectively.
“We therefore intend to strengthen the power of local authorities to act in these circumstances.
“The second area we have been looking at carefully is indoor social events, like house parties. We know from reports and our own test and protect teams - and also from evidence from other places in the UK and indeed around the world - that these indoor events pose a major transmission risk.
“So for use in cases of flagrant breach and as a last resort we intend to give the police powers of enforcement to break up and disperse large indoor gatherings.
“We believe that both of these new powers are necessary if we are to continue to suppress the virus, minimise the risk of outbreaks and keep it under control, which is so necessary."
All of the following changes are subject to relevant public health guidance.
The following are confirmed dates
With effect from Monday 24 August
- Outdoor contact sports (all ages) can resume following guidance of relevant sports bodies.
- Outdoor seated live events and outdoor open space live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for larger pilot events.
- Driving lessons can resume – following guidance.
- Child contact centres can re-open following guidance.
- Face-to-face advice services, including Citizens Advice, can resume – following guidance.
- Bingo halls can re-open with physical distancing and following guidance.
- Amusement arcades and casinos can re-open following guidance (incl. enhanced hygiene).
- Snooker/pool halls and indoor bowling can re-open – following guidance (incl. enhanced hygiene).
- Funfairs – both static and travelling – can re-open, following guidance.
With effect from Monday 31 August
- Gyms (indoor) can re-open – following guidance.
- Swimming pools can re-open – following guidance.
- Indoor sports courts can re-open – following guidance, incl. skating, dance studios: Children (0-12) years can resume all activity; adults and young people (12+) can resume non-contact activity only.
- Indoor activities for children and young people (unregulated) can resume subject to guidance that will vary by activity. Indoor youth work can resume for young people in line with guidance.
The following are indicative dates only – conditional on 10 September review
With effect from Monday 14 September
- Indoor soft play can re-open – following guidance (e.g. no ball pools, enhanced hygiene).
- Certain indoor live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for pilot events.
- Other indoor entertainment venues – following guidance with physical distancing requirements (e.g. theatres, live music venues). Not nightclubs.
- Indoor sports courts– including skating and dance studios – can be used by adults and young people (12+) for contact sports – subject to guidance.
- Stadia – limited re-opening – following guidance (e.g. physical distancing, restricted numbers) – with option for testing on earlier dates subject to agreement with government.
- Outdoor focussed standing live events – with physical distancing, enhanced hygiene, and restricted numbers – following guidance. Work will be undertaken with the sector on options for larger pilot events.