First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon Cancels New Year Over Omicron Fears: First Minister Orders No Mixing Between Scottish Households, Bans Spectators From Football Matches and Makes Pubs Table-service Only – Heaping Pressure on Boris to Act

Nicola Sturgeon today cancelled large scale New Year celebrations in Scotland as she unveiled additional coronavirus restrictions to slow the spread of the Omicron variant, prompting business leaders to accuse her of giving firms ‘a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking’.

The Scottish First Minister revealed there had been nine new deaths and 5,242 positive tests in the last 24 hours, down on the 6,734 cases recorded yesterday, as she said official advice for Christmas Day remains unchanged, with people allowed to meet with family but urged to be cautious.

But from December 26 for three weeks there will be attendance limits placed on live public events which will torpedo Hogmanay festivities.

The limits will not apply to private life events like weddings, but Ms Sturgeon said for indoor standing events the limit will be 100 people, for indoor seated events it will be 200 and for outdoor events 500 seated or standing.

This will mean that from Boxing Day football and other sporting matches in Scotland will effectively be spectator-free.

Ms Sturgeon also said that from December 27 the Scottish Government is advising people to return to limiting their social contacts ‘as much as you possibly can’ while a table service-only requirement will be reimposed on hospitality venues serving alcohol, lasting for an initial period of three weeks.

There will also be a requirement for one metre social distancing between adults in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings. This rule, combined with the 100 person limit on indoor standing events, will likely force nightclubs to close.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce said the new restrictions represented ‘another hammer blow’ for businesses and many will view it ‘as the equivalent of receiving a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking’.

The move piled the pressure on Boris Johnson after he yesterday delayed making a decision on imposing new coronavirus curbs in England as ministers waited for key data to be given to them today.

Mr Johnson announced this evening that he will not be imposing new curbs before Christmas but warned tougher restrictions could be implemented after December 25.

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Source: Daily Mail