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Hospitality hit again as new coronavirus rules revealed

By Alan Beresford

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TOUGH new restrictions are to come into force after Christmas to help stem the tsunami of omicron cases.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the omicron strain.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has unveiled new restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the omicron strain.

Addressing the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Sturgeon confirmed that omicron was the dominant strain of Covid in Scotland, accounting for 62.9 per cent of all cases of the virus in the country.

Hospitality once again took a major hit. From December 27 businesses selling alcohol for consumption on the premises will have to return to table service only, with one metre distancing required between groups of people. This will remain in force for at least three weeks. Earlier advice urging a limit of three households per group continues.

From Boxing Day indoor events such as concerts will be limited to 200 if seated and 100 for standing. Outdoor events have an upper limit of 500 events. These restrictions will be reviewed three weeks later.

This means events such as major outdoor Hogmanay parties, including the street party planned for Edinburgh, will have to be cancelled while football matches will effectively be rendered spectator-free.

Highlighting the potential for such events to act as super-spreaders, Ms Sturgeon told MSPs: "Limiting these events helps reduce the risk of widespread transmission.

"It also cuts down the transmission risks associated with travel to and from such events.

"And these large events put an additional burden on emergency services, especially the police and ambulance services."

During her address, the First Minister re-iterated advice for people to stay in as much as possible and refrain from socialising where feasible. Over Christmas, she urged people to keep their gatherings as small as possible.

She also stressed the importance of continuing to follow hygiene measures.

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