Nightclubs in Scotland will close for three weeks from 27 December, following consultation with the industry.

It will affect around 150 nightclubs, with the closure period to be reviewed after three weeks.

The announcement today (23 December) follows the news earlier this week that new Covid measures would be introduced in order to stem the spread of the virus.

This includes the return of table-service only in licensed premises and the implementation of the one-metre distance rule. While the number of households that attend hospitality venues as part of a group has been set at three.

According to an announcement by the Scottish government, the new measure follows feedback from nightclub operators on the impact of incoming restrictions needed to slow the spread of Omicron.

However it added that premises will have the option of opening to operate with table service and physical distancing, in line with the requirements for other hospitality businesses, if possible.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “Having engaged with the sector, we have concluded nightclubs should close.

“While it would be open to them to operate with physical distancing and table service - and that option will remain - we believe closure in regulations, combined with financial support, could reduce losses and help nightclubs weather what we hope will be a short period until they are able to operate normally again.

He said the government would work with the nightclub industry to develop targeted financial support of £375m, including the £100m announcement last week, and would publish a full breakdown and allocation of funding as soon as possible.

Last week it was announced that nightclubs in Wales would close from 27 December