Scotland orders nightclubs to close for at least three weeks

The venues can still operate with table service and social distancing but not as nightclubs.

Craig Paton
Thursday 23 December 2021 10:46 GMT
Clubs will close from December 27 under the new regulations (Daniel Harkins/PA)
Clubs will close from December 27 under the new regulations (Daniel Harkins/PA)

Scotland has ordered nightclubs to close for at least three weeks from 27 December, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

An amendment to coronavirus regulations published on Thursday ordered clubs to close, unless they could operate “within regulation”.

New restrictions will mean that hospitality businesses can continue to operate with social distancing and table service.

Mr Swinney made the announcement before the Covid-19 Recovery Committee at Holyrood.

“Having engaged with the sector, we now propose to require that nightclubs should not operate as such for this three-week period,” he told the committee.

“While it would be open to them to operate with distancing and table service and that option will remain, we consider that closure in regulation, combined with financial support, may reduce losses and help these businesses weather what we hope would be a short period until they are able to operate normally again.”

On Tuesday, Nicola Sturgeon announced new restrictions on events, which limits outdoor events to 500 people and indoor seated events to 200 people and 100 standing which will come into effect from Boxing Day.

While changes to hospitality will bring back the requirement for one-metre, social distancing between groups and table service, and come into effect from December 27.

The legislation introduced to close nightclubs has no end date, meaning the restrictions could be lifted earlier or later than first intended.

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