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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gives coronavirus update as crowds can return with more stringent vaccine passport restrictions

By Jonathan Clark

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that restrictions on the number of people who can attend outdoor events in Scotland will be removed next week.

Since Boxing Day, the number of people allowed at outdoor events – including football matches – has been limited to 500, but this restriction will be scrapped on Monday, January 17.

This will allow Elgin City to welcome back as many fans as possible at Borough Briggs, for example.

Indoor gatherings will continue to be restricted to 200 people seated and 100 standing until at least January 24, with table service at pubs also continuing until then.

While restrictions on numbers are easing, Ms Sturgeon announced that checks on vaccine passports will be tightened.

At least 50 per cent of events attendees – or 1000 people, whichever figure is higher – must now have their vaccine passport checked. This number was previously 20 per cent.

And, for the purpose of these passports, three jabs will now be required for people to be considered "fully vaccinated" if their second jab was more than four months ago.

After announcing the updated restrictions, the First Minister continued to encourage limiting household contacts and getting vaccinated.

"We all have to act in a way that keeps things moving in the right direction," Ms Sturgeon said.

"First, get fully vaccinated as soon as you can. Secondly, try to limit your contacts. Every interaction just now comes with a significant risk of catching the virus.

"Third, if you are meeting other people, test before you go every time and if you are meeting indoors then limit the number of households to three."

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