The removal of covid measures in Scotland will begin next week.

The 500-person cap on outdoor events in Scotland will be lifted from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has said, amid "cautious optimism"​ that the spread of Omicron is slowing.

It means that football fixtures next week can now have spectators as well as the upcoming Six Nations matches. 

However, the vaccination passport scheme will be heightened and event organisers will now be asked to review 50% or 1,000 vaccine passports of attendees, whichever figure is higher.

The definition of fully vaccinated as pertains to the certification scheme will also be updated from Monday to mean those who are eligible for a third dose and have received it.

Further restrictions in Scotland will be considered on January 24 such as limits on indoor events, table service in hospitality, and social distancing in public places will remain.

Limiting contacts to three households is also continuing to be advised. 

Ms Sturgeon also said that the Scottish Government would continue to consider if the vaccine passport scheme should be extended to include other venues.

Speaking in Holyrood, the First Minister said: “The situation in Scotland just now is undoubtedly serious but perhaps less so than it might have been, and there are also some signs that we may be starting to turn a corner.

“For instance, our central projection last month was that new infections could reach 50,000 a day by early January. This has not so far materialised.

“Instead we estimate that the total number of new infections a day in early January, not just those recorded through positive PCR tests, may have been around 30,000."