Restrictions on indoor events in Scotland will be lifted from Monday, 24 January, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

On Boxing Day, Sturgeon introduced restrictions banning indoor events of more than 100 people standing or 200 seated, and outdoor standing events of more than 500. Measures were lifted on Monday, January 17, allowing full-capacity live outdoor events to go ahead.

The Scottish first minister described a “much more positive” situation in Scotland in an update to MSPs at Holyrood today (18 January), pointing to a reduction in case numbers and hospitalisations which mean the Omicron wave is past its peak.

The Scottish Government has also decided not to extend the Covid-19 certification scheme to further venues.

Sturgeon said the country was once again entering a calmer phase of the pandemic: “That then allows us to consider the adaptations we might need to make to build our resilience and manage the virus in a less restrictive way in future as we do move into an endemic phase.”

Among the events to have been impacted by the restrictions is multi-venue Glasgow festival Celtic Connections, which begins on 20 January and will run until 6 February. Organisers had no choice but to launch a hybrid version of the music festival, with shows streamed online and reduced-capacity audiences in attendance at venues including Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall .

Geoff Ellis, CEO of Scotland’s DF Concerts, whose events include the 50,000-capacity TRNSMT festival, told Access, “The biggest challenge that faces the industry in 2022 will be regaining confidence from the public that live events are safe to attend and will go ahead, especially with the varying messages and restrictions which are in place in each of the UK’s devolved nations – which has created additional confusion and uncertainty.”

The Scottish Government said it has begun work on a new strategic framework for managing the Covid-19 pandemic, to be published in the coming weeks.