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Employment law

Further COVID restrictions announced over the Festive Period



On Tuesday 21st December the First Minister made a statement to the Scottish Parliament announcing further COVID-19 restrictions in an effort to stem the spread of the new Omicron variant. Although there was a feeling of familiarity, remembering the events in the week leading up to Christmas in 2020 which involved restrictive measures, this statement announced measures more limited in scope.

The message continues to remain the same in regard to household mixing. The Scottish Government advise that individuals give close attention to the guidance and limit their mixing as much as possible on the run up to Christmas, with groups of no more than three households recommended in terms of social contact. While there are no legal rules on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, the advice is to minimise numbers as much as family circumstances allow.

However, the Scottish Government did announce further requirements in relation to large scale events and the hospitality industry that will take place after Christmas.

For up to three weeks from Boxing Day, there will be a limit on the size of live public events, with no more than 500 people attending outdoor events. For indoor events, there will be a limit of 200 people if seated or 100 people if standing. However, these capacity limits do not apply to private life events such as weddings.

Additionally, from 27 December, for three weeks all hospitality venues in Scotland will have to operate on a table service only basis if they serve alcohol. Hospitality venues will also be obliged to ensure there is 1m physical distancing between tables, and groups of people will be advised to be limited to no more than three different households.

Further advice is also to be issued regarding indoor contact sports.

To aid employers and businesses, the Scottish Government announced a £100m support package, to be redistributed from elsewhere in the Scottish Government’s budget, in addition to the additional funding that has now been announced by HM Treasury.

Get in touch

If you are concerned about how the additional measures announced could affect your business, do not hesitate to get in touch with our Employment Team who can assist.  There is not a furlough scheme in place at present, but there may be steps that employers can take to preserve employees’ employment and avoid further difficulties, such as having to make redundancies.  We can discuss and advise with a view to finding solutions for the difficulties faced.


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Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.