Scotland has removed most of its remaining coronavirus restrictions, but people must continue to wear face masks on public transport and inside public places.
The country has moved to Level 0 from today, meaning all legal requirements for physical distancing – except in health care settings – and gatherings have been removed and all venues, including nightclubs, can reopen.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the nation could move to the lowest level of its five-tier system of rules due to the “steady decline in cases” and “the success of vaccination”.
Sturgeon eases most Scotland restrictions
Double-vaccinated adults and also children are now able to avoid self-isolation if they are a close contact of someone with coronavirus as long as they are symptomless and provide a negative PCR test.
All teachers and pupils will have to keep wearing masks indoors for up to six weeks after schools return, but whole classes will no longer have to stay at home if someone tests positive.
However, children and adults who are higher-risk close contacts will still be told to isolate.
Under the new rules, people will be allowed to drink while standing up in pubs and outdoor events of more than 5,000 people and indoor events of more than 2,000 will be able to go ahead, as long as they have permission from local authorities and the government.
When announcing the lifting of further restrictions last week, Ms Sturgeon hailed Monday as “perhaps the most significant date so far” in the pandemic.
She has also urged people to “continue to take sensible precautions” despite the majority of rules being lifted.
Wales lifts remaining restrictions
The number of new coronavirus infections reached a peak of 4,234 on 1 July but the average number of daily cases during August is 1,172, according to Scottish government statistics.
A total of 3,323,466 people in the country have been fully vaccinated while 4,024,852 have received at least one dose.
On Saturday, Wales moved to its own level zero, easing most restrictions but not the requirement to wear face masks in most indoor public places, including in shops, health care settings, and on public transport.
First Minister Mark Drakeford urged people to still be sensible despite the lifting of restrictions, saying “alert level zero does not mean the end of restrictions and a free-for-all“.