From 9 August, Scotland moved beyond Level 0 of the Strategic Framework. The majority of legal restrictions that had been in place to reduce the risk of the virus no longer apply, including many of those that have been particularly challenging for much of the culture sector. There is no legal requirement for physical distancing in any setting, other than in connection with certain exemptions for wearing face coverings in indoor venues. No venue or business sector is required to stay closed. There are, however, temporary capacity limits for venues of certain sizes.
Even though most legal restrictions now no longer apply, it is important to remember that the pandemic is still with us and that we must remain cautious. A range of precautionary measures continue to be in place to help appropriate safeguards. These are not specific to the culture sector, but many of them will apply in culture settings, and with the removal of most legal restrictions, the need for detailed sector-specific guidance has lessened. Those parts of the sector that are used to working with audiences, whether seated in an auditorium, standing in a small club or walking through a gallery, are experienced in providing high standards of health and safety. Building on this, in conjunction with the experience of managing audiences while more restrictions were in place, the current precautionary measures will allow the culture sector to provide a safe environment for staff, performers and audiences.
The move beyond Level 0 allows venues to operate with few legal restrictions. Theatres, concert halls, music venues, cinemas, comedy clubs, museums and galleries and other cultural venues can now, in the main, open fully with no capacity restrictions. This is a vital step in helping the sector to recover, particularly when underpinned by additional safety measures set out in various pieces of Scottish Government guidance. However, the Scottish Government understands the impact of the pandemic on the sector and recognises that it will take some time for the sector to recover fully. We know that the sector has lost people, skills, experience and businesses and that support will be needed to rebuild.
The Scottish Government has worked closely with the sector throughout the pandemic, and will continue to do so to understand what support is required to aid short-term recovery beyond Level 0. We will work with the sector to develop and set out our vision for the long-term, sustainable future of the sector and to help it play a key role in how Scotland recovers from the pandemic.