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Covid-19 Resources

Scottish Government

On Tuesday 13 April 2021, the Scottish Government published further updates to the COVID-19 Strategic Framework – Protection Levels. These updates include new information for live events which are of relevance to you as an FST Member.  Both the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts and Venues Guidance and the Events Sector Guidance pages are expected to be updated in the coming days to reflect this information.

We have outlined some of the key updates from the announcement in the summary below, you can also download the full 10-page Scottish Government PDF here.

An update from Fiona Sturgeon Shea, CEO, Federation of Scottish Theatre: 

 “We appreciate the updated guidance which provides firmer details on dates and capacities and will allow some planning to take place. There are still many unknowns and areas where further investigation and more certainty is needed to allow both our membership and the wider sector to re-open to our staff, peers, and the wider public. We will continue to liaise with the Scottish Government, relevant industry colleagues and our membership to ensure that guidance continues to be communicated as transparently and accessibly as possible.” 

Summary of Scottish Government Announcement

The Scottish Government continues to stress that all outlined updates below are conditional on supportive data that the coronavirus suppression in Scotland continues at the current rate, in part facilitated by the continued success of the vaccination programme across Scotland and adherence to government guidelines.

Protection Levels updates

All levels below refer to the Scottish Government’s Protection Levels Framework. You can find out which level your local authority is in at any time by clicking here.

  • 17 May, all of Scotland expected to move to Level 2, with theatres and venues permitted to open (albeit with social distancing and capacity limits)
  • Early June, predicted that the country will move into Level 1
  • Late June, predicted that the country will move into Level 0

Live events can now take place in Levels 2, 1 & 0

At each level, all events are subject to restrictions and must adhere to all relevant government guidelines. You can find the most recent guidance here:

Further updates to these guidance pages are expected in the coming days to better reflect the update announced on 13 April.

Social Distancing

Social distancing under the new guidelines is still mandatory. Capacities for theatres and venues will be subject to 2-metre physical distancing requirements. The Scottish Government is creating further guidance on this which, once published, we will circulate.

Updated Capacity Limits for Live Events*

  • Level 2
    Indoor events: 100
    Outdoor events: 500 for seated, or 250 for free-standing, respectively
  • Level 1
    Indoor events: 200
    Outdoor events: 1,000 for seated, or 500 for free-standing, respectively
  • Level 0
    Indoor events: 400
    Outdoor events: 2,000 for seated, or 1,000 for free-standing, respectively

*There is a note in the updated guidance which states that higher capacities can be agreed with your Local Authority/The Scottish Government. There is no clearer guidance on how this process would operate and, with colleagues, we will continue to stress the need for clarity in this area.

UK Government

The following COVID-19 financial support is currently available through the UK Government:


The UK Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough) has been extended until 30 September 2021. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and employers will be asked to contribute towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages.

Self Employment Income Support

The UK Government’s Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has been extended until September 2021. Details about eligibility and applications for the upcoming fourth grant, which will cover the period February 2021 – April 2021,  can be found here.

You can always find the latest UK Government COVID-19 updates here.

Get in touch

FST continues to liaise with the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland to ensure the diverse needs of our sector are represented and heard. We will continue to update the membership via email, our website and social media as soon as we can ensure that information is accurate.

If you have any questions or enquiries during this time, regarding FST in general or more specifically concerning a particular issue then please email us at hello@scottishtheare.org

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