Confirming the change to Level 0, the First Minister urged people to adhere to protective measures and sensible precautions to suppress coronavirus (COVID-19) to help create conditions that allow Scotland to move beyond Level 0 on 9 August.
From 00:01 on Monday 19 July, physical distancing in Level 0 will reduce to 1 metre in all indoor public settings and outdoors. Additionally, informal social gatherings of up to 15 people from 15 households will be permitted outdoors without physical distancing. Gatherings of up to 10 people from four households will be permitted in all indoor public settings with 1 metre physical distancing.
Other easings to Level 0 taking effect at that time include:
Employers are asked to continue to support home working where possible until we move beyond Level 0.
From 04:00 Monday 19 July, travellers who are fully vaccinated through a UK vaccination programme and children arriving into Scotland from Amber List countries will no longer be required to self-isolate and take a day eight test, but adults and children over 12 will still take tests before travelling and on day two after arrival. Anyone testing positive for or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 will still require to isolate for 10 days.
A survey is being launched for those at highest risk from COVID-19 to gather views on what additional support might be needed as restrictions ease. Later this week, the Chief Medical Officer will also write to this group with advice on what moving to Level 0 will mean for them.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“While Scotland will move to Level 0 from next Monday, we will do so with certain modifications to our original indicative plans. This is intended to ensure that our pace of easing restrictions is sensible in light of the challenge we continue to face from the Delta variant. There is no doubt that Delta has become, unfortunately, something of a game-changer – even for countries on course to achieving full vaccine protection - so COVID does remain a threat that we must treat seriously.
“The Scottish Government understands the temptation to lift more restrictions more quickly. In our view, and in line with clinical advice and modelling, a gradual approach stands the best chance of minimising further health harm and loss of life - and also because a gradual approach stands the best chance of being a sustainable approach, it will be better in the long term for the economy as well.
“We are easing restrictions next week – but we are not abandoning them. We will also keep in place for now certain other measures – such as the requirement to wear face coverings, co-operate with test and protect teams, and comply with advice on good hygiene and ventilation.
“If we do all of this, frustrating though it all continues increasingly to be, we will help protect ourselves and our loved ones. As we continue to complete the vaccination programme, which does offer us still the route back to greater normality, we will make it easier for more restrictions to be gradually and sensibly lifted in the weeks ahead.”