First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a maximum of six people from two households can meet indoors and outdoors immediately.
She made the announcement at Holyrood on the day of Scotland’s three-week review into current restrictions.
Ms Sturgeon said the country was not ready to move into phase four of lockdown easing, and instead tightened restrictions further.
“Immediately” she wants people to only meet in groups of a maximum of six, but with just two houses represented.
The change will affect people meeting either indoors or outdoors, and in pubs, restaurants and beer gardens.
Children under the age of 12 would not count towards a group of six, she added.
This change will not come into force legally until Monday 14th September, but she asked people to begin following the new rules “immediately”.
She said the move had “not been taken lightly”, but was essential to curb rising cases of the virus.
Ms Sturgeon also announced that easing lockdown restrictions would not be considered until Monday 5th October.
But she stressed it could be later in the month before they were eased at the current rate.
Plans to allow indoor contact sports to tentatively start, and indoor soft play areas to open, have been “paused”.
And in a blow to sports fans, spectators will not be allowed into venues for events for at least the next three weeks.
Test events set to be held in Aberdeen and Dingwall this weekend will still go ahead.
Ms Sturgeon stressed to young people that the changes were “not their fault”.