NIGHTCLUBS in Scotland will be closed for at least three weeks from December 27, Deputy First Minister John Swinney has said.

Legislation tabled by the Scottish Government at the Covid-19 Recovery Committee on Thursday will close nightclubs unless they can operate with appropriate social distancing between groups and table service.

New restrictions were announced earlier this week, bringing back the requirement for one metre of social distancing between groups and a maximum capacity of 100 at a standing indoor event, which would limit the number of people who can attend nightclubs.

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From Boxing Day, large events will have one-metre social distancing and will be limited to 100 people standing indoors, 200 people sitting indoors and 500 people outdoors.

The following day, the one-metre physical distancing will be implemented between adults in all indoor hospitality and leisure settings, including pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and other settings where food and drink is served, gyms, theatres, cinemas, bingo and snooker halls and bowling alleys.

Museums, galleries and other visitor attractions also have the same rules in place.

Table service is also required where alcohol is being served.

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Ministers at Holyrood have announced a package totalling £375 million, including £175m of additional funding from the Treasury, to support sectors affected by the latest protective measures to combat Omicron.

Since December 14, people have been asked to reduce their social contact as much as possible by meeting in groups of no more than three households.

Allowing staff to work from home where possible has become a legal duty on employers.

Care home visits have also been limited to two households.