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Coronavirus / Hospitality venues set for midnight closing time after level zero modifications

First minister Nicola Sturgeon.

HOSPITALITY venues will have to close at midnight from next week as part of Scotland-wide modifications to level zero coronavirus restrictions.

The whole of Scotland will move to level zero from Monday, joining the islands which are already under the more relaxed restrictions.

But first minister Nicola Sturgeon said on Tuesday that the country’s move to level zero will come with certain modifications which will be in place across Scotland due to the recent rise in cases.

This includes hospitality venues closing at midnight instead of their normal licensing hours.

“This reflects the fact that indoor hospitality – despite the sector’s sterling efforts – remains a relatively risky environment, particularly later at night when people may be less likely to follow rules,” the first minister said.

The phased return of office working is also being postponed.

In indoor public places where there isn’t already a one metre rule in place, the physical distance requirement will reduce from two metres to one metre.

Outdoors there will remain distancing limits between groups of people.

It comes amid a steep rise in Covid cases in recent weeks, with eight newly reported in Shetland.

The first minster said the plan is still to remove the major restrictions on 9 August.

But she said the mandatory wearing of face coverings will “remain in place, in all likelihood, for some time to come”.