When do nightclubs open? Date late-night clubs and bars may reopen in Scotland after Level 0 restrictions
Nightclubs in England reopened for the first time since the Covid pandemic started on ‘Freedom Day’ - but when will late-night venues open their doors again in Scotland?
Nightclubs in England have reopened for the first time in over a year after most remaining legal Covid restrictions were scrapped.
Monday 19 July marks the country’s so-called “Freedom Day”, meaning there are no longer any limits on how many people can meet up, large events can resume and the nighttime entertainment sector can reopen.
Keen clubbers south of the border headed out to party from midnight on the day restrictions were eased.
But Scotland is taking a more cautious approach to easing coronavirus rules, with the whole of the country moving to Level 0 - the lowest level of restrictions - on Monday.
Due to the differing restrictions, Scots will need to wait longer than those in England to pull on their heels and go clubbing.
So, when do nightclubs reopen in Scotland?
Here’s what you need to know.
When do nightclubs reopen in Scotland?
Scotland enters Level 0 on Monday, with some modifications.
The lifting of lockdown rules means larger groups are allowed to meet up, and the curfew on bars and pubs will be pushed back to midnight.
But some restrictions still remain, like the mandatory wearing of face masks in shops and on public transport, and the continuation of home working.
And there is not currently a confirmed date for when nightclubs and other late-night venues can reopen.
In Level 0, they will remain closed except for use in limited circumstances.
"Lifting all restrictions right now would put all of us at greater risk,” First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told MSPs when announcing the move to Level 0 on Tuesday 13 July.
"A gradual approach stands the best chance of minimising further health harm and loss of life.”
Following Level 0, it is hoped that almost all restrictions will be dropped on 9 August, dubbed Scotland’s equivalent to Freedom Day.
Social distancing rules could be scrapped then, Ms Sturgeon has said, which would allow for nightclubs to reopen next month.
However, confirming the change to Level 0, the SNP leader said the current rules would remain in place “for the next three weeks at least”.
She has previously said the 9 August date is “not set in stone” and it depends on whether the vaccine continues to break the link between cases, hospitalisations and deaths as more people are inoculated.
"Nothing, against a global pandemic of an infectious virus that has got more infectious and transmissible with the Delta variant, can be set in stone,” Ms Sturgeon told reporters.
"I want as much as everybody does the certainty of 'by this date we will be free of everything and there will no longer be any restrictions'.
"Every part of me wants that and every part of me believes we are on a journey towards that and heading in that direction.
"But to set dates in stone while we still face that virus would not in my view be responsible. My job is to take hard decisions that get us as safely as possible to that end point."
Even if the August easing does go ahead, the Scottish Government has said mask rules will stay in place past then, meaning face coverings could be required in clubs when they do reopen.
Ms Sturgeon has said her administration will assess the data before coming to a final decision about 9 August nearer the time.
She is scheduled to give an update to parliament in the week before that date.
What are the rules in Level 0?
Even though nightclubs remain shut, Scots woke up to increased freedoms on the morning of 19 July.
Ten adults from four households are able to meet in indoor public places such as cafes and pubs in Level 0, while eight people from four households can meet indoors at home.
Meanwhile, 15 adults from 15 households can meet outdoors in a private garden or public place.
Indoors in public places, social distancing will be reduced from two metres to one. This rule will apply between different household groups.
Meanwhile, pubs and restaurants will be required to close at midnight in Level 0 - yet customers will no longer need to pre-book a two-hour slot if they fancy a drink or a meal out.
They will still need to give their details for Test and Protect, and face coverings will still be required in hospitality venues except when seated.
And outdoor standing events will now have a capacity of 1,000, while 2,000 will be allowed at seated or open space events. The capacity for seated indoor events goes up to 400 people.
Ceremonies, like weddings and funerals, can be attended by up to 200 guests in this level.
While it was hoped there would be a limited phased return to offices from 19 July, this has been postponed until after 9 August at least and people will still be asked to work from home where they can in Level 0.
When it comes to international travel, fully jabbed adults who are arriving from countries on the amber list will no longer have to quarantine from 19 July, as long as they have been inoculated through a UK vaccination programme.
However, travellers must also still take a PCR test on day two of their arrival back to Scotland.