RESTRICTIONS on hospitality have come into force in Scotland in a bid to slow the spread of the Omicron variant of coronavirus.

From Monday (December 27), nightclubs will be shuttered and hospitality businesses will need to return to offering only table service if serving alcohol.

Bars, restaurants and indoor leisure facilities such as gyms, theatres and museums will also have to re-instate one-metre social distancing regulations.

The restrictions come after caps were placed on large events from Sunday.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that just 100 people would be able to attend a standing indoor event and 200 seated.

Outdoor events will also be restricted to 500 – a rule which has hit football games hardest. Scottish football authorities took the decision to bring forward the planned winter break, meaning just one game will be played with the reduced number of fans.

The restrictions will be reviewed every three weeks, according to the Scottish Government.

Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “These temporary restrictions are targeted at reducing the spread of Omicron while the accelerated vaccination programme takes effect.

The National: EMBARGOED TO 0001 MONDAY NOVEMBER 22..File photo dated 06/02/2020 of finance secretary Kate Forbes. Council leaders have insisted it is essential they get an "adequate" funding deal in next year's Scottish Budget to help "ease the

READ MORE: What do new restrictions mean for international travel to and from Scotland?

“I understand how difficult this has been for businesses in recent weeks but we must reduce our contacts and limit the spread of the virus.

“We’re providing £375 million in business support, which is a significant investment, to support those who have experienced cancellations and help them get back on their feet in the new year. The best way to support business sustainably is to get the virus back under control. Please get your boosters and stay at home as much as possible just now.”

The last available figures released by the Scottish Government show 7076 new cases of Covid-19 were reported on Christmas Eve, with 10 deaths and a positivity rate of 14.6%.

A total of 6154 cases of the new variant were also reported on Friday, up 3832 from the previous day, due to a backlog in laboratory testing.