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Scottish venues must apply for permission to raise capacity limits

Scottish stadiums must apply for permission to welcome more than 5,000 spectators even after Covid-19 restrictions are lifted next week.

Under plans released by the Scottish Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced some mitigations will be kept in place when most legal Covid-19 regulations are removed from next Monday.

The Scottish Government said in an update published on Tuesday that capacity limits of 2,000 people indoors and 5,000 people outdoors will remain in place beyond Monday although some exceptions may be possible on a case by case basis. These will be reviewed on a three weekly basis.

“This will allow us and local authorities to be assured of the arrangements in place to reduce risk,” the Scottish Government said in a statement.

While current restrictions limit outdoor events to 2,000, some venues have been given dispensation to host more with Celtic FC allowed 24,500 at their Scottish Premiership game against Dundee this weekend.

First Minister Sturgeon said: “The move beyond level 0 will entail the lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions – most notably, on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings. It also means that from August 9, no venues will be legally required to close.

“This change is significant and it is hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year and a half can never be overstated. However, while this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before Covid struck.

“Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is in my view premature. The harm the virus can do, including through the impact of long Covid, should not be underestimated. And its ability to mutate may yet pose us real challenges.”

Meanwhile, TRNSMT music festival has permission to go ahead at Glasgow Green in September, organiser Geoff Ellis has confirmed.

The DF Concerts chief executive told BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme that he “can’t wait” to welcome 50,000 people with no social distancing.