Scotland moves to level zero from today as restrictions ease

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Scotland has moved to a modified level zero from today with hospitality required to close at midnight and up to 15 people from 15 households able to meet outdoors, with different groups of 15 required to stay at least 1m apart. Up to 200 can attend weddings and funerals and the mandatory use of face coverings is to remain in place for “some time”.

The rules planned for level zero were modified last week due to the spread of the Delta variant.

New rules for travellers also come into force so fully-vaccinated people returning from amber list countries, apart from France, won’t need to quarantine as long as they take a PCR test after arrival.

The Scottish government hopes Scotland can move beyond level zero from 9 August – the date by which the government aimed to scrap most legal restrictions, and the plan is also to remove the blanket requirement for close contacts of those who test positive to self-isolate – as long as they have had two doses of vaccine.

Sunday’s official figures showed 1,735 new cases of Covid had been reported in Scotland in the previous 24 hours, with 9.8% of tests coming back positive. Hospital numbers fell for a third consecutive day – there were 511 patients who had recently tested positive on Saturday with 46 of them receiving intensive care.

No new deaths of people with recent positive tests were recorded, but the government noted register offices are generally closed at weekends.

Scotland still has the highest level of Covid cases in the UK, according to sampling by the ONS – but the number of daily cases appears to be on a downward trend while south of the border it has been rising rapidly.

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