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Back to the party: campus and nightlife reopen as Omicron restrictions lifted

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

After a festive season plagued by the Omicron variant, the Scottish government has scrapped the majority of COVID restrictions as cases continue to drop

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Image courtesy of niekverlaan via Pixabay

Since 24 January, restrictions on nightclubs have ended, along with limits on indoor events and social distancing rules in hospitality settings.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the end of restrictions in a speech to the Scottish Parliament on 18 January.

She told the MSPs, ‘although we can be increasingly optimistic at this stage, we must all still play our part in helping further slow the spread of the virus."

According to the BBC, current government guidance requires people to wear face masks in public places and transport.

Sturgeon also told MSPs that Scotland was ‘once again entering a calmer phase of the pandemic,’ while acknowledging the NHS still faced ‘significant pressure.’

Speaking to the Gaudie last week, an anonymous employee of Prohibition said that the restrictions had delayed the relaunch of Priory, a nightclub under the Prohibition banner.

Despite a delay of over a month, the gradual reopening of the club went ahead last week, with additional events occurring over the weekend.

The employee said that Prohibition was eager to welcome patrons back, telling the Gaudie:

‘We welcome everyone [with] open arms. Everyone deserves to relax and enjoy good music with their friends.’

Many of the clubs have quickly returned to their previous capacity. The Aberdeen club ‘Tunnels’ expressed happiness that the restrictions had ended, writing on their Instagram page:

‘Great news clubs to reopen and great to be back! Very happy to announce the return of the mighty Slam to the Tunnels this Saturday, tickets have been flying already.’

The popular nightlife spot ATIK also posted on their page that plans were in place for a ‘massive reopening week.’

AUSA is also hoping to hold its Refresher's Fair on the 31st January after it was initial delayed.

A University spokesperson also reacted to the lifting of restrictions, commenting, ‘We welcome the First Minister’s announcement… [which reflects] the progress that’s being made in mitigating the impact of the Omicron variant through a combination of vaccination, testing, and adherence to national Covid guidelines. We continue to follow Scottish Government guidelines to ensure the safety of our University community… We continue to encourage our students and staff to test regularly…’


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