Nightclubs in Scotland are to reopen on Monday 9th August — the second UK country to remove almost all remaining pandemic restrictions — following an announcement by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. 

It’s the first time venues in the country will be able to operate under comparatively normal conditions for more than 500 days. Dancing will be allowed, as will ordering drinks at the bar, but face coverings must be worn inside and attendees are required to leave a record of their contact details for test and trace services. 

“This change is significant and hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year and a half can never be overstated,” said Sturgeon, who also revealed a new Scottish Government mobile app was being developed, allowing people to show proof of their COVID certification, including negative test results and vaccination status. 

The news comes just two weeks after most COVID-19 restrictions were removed in England, with thousands flocking to music events. Despite widespread fears this would lead to a sudden increase in new infections — as happened in the Netherlands where clubs are once again closed — English rates of the virus have been in decline for several weeks, more than halving since mid-July. 

It’s important to note, though, scientists have been quick to point out this does not necessarily suggest herd immunity has reached the necessary level to have an impact and experts are struggling to interpret the numbers. This week DJ Mag mapped out no less than ten new clubs opening across the UK, including Forum Birmingham, which is giving away free tickets to healthcare and hospitality workers for its opening party.