Scotland to move to level zero Covid restrictions but face masks to stay

·2-min read
Scotland to move to level zero Covid restrictions but face masks to stay (PA Wire)
Scotland to move to level zero Covid restrictions but face masks to stay (PA Wire)

Scotland will move to its level zero Covid restrictions next week , but face masks will remain mandatory indoors “for some time”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addressed the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday to unveil the latest step of lockdown easing, which will come into force on July 19.

“So while Scotland will move to Level zero from next Monday, we will do so with certain modifications to our indicative plans,” she said.

“This is intended to ensure that our pace of easing restrictions is sensible in light of the challenge we continue to face from the Delta variant.

“I will confirm that certain mitigations – such as the mandatory wearing of face coverings – will remain in place, not just now but, in all likelihood, for some time to come.

“Measures like the continued wearing of face coverings are important, not just to give added protection to the population as a whole, but also to give protection and assurance to those amongst us who are particularly vulnerable and previously had to shield.”

MSPs were recalled from their summer recess to hear the announcement.

From Monday up to eight people from four households will be able to meet in homes, rising to 10 people in public indoor spaces.

Up to 15 people from 15 households can meet outdoors. Children aged 12 and under will not count towards the total number of people or households.

Weddings and funerals will be allowed 200 guests. There will also be extensions to the number of people allowed at other large gatherings. Outdoor seated events can welcome up to 2,000 people from Monday.

Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)
Nicola Sturgeon (PA Wire)

Indoors events will be capped at 400 people. There will also no longer be a need to prebook tables at pubs or restaurants. However, customers must still wear face coverings and give their details to venues for track and trace.

Hospitality businesses will also have to adhere to a midnight curfew, which Ms Sturgeon said “will still help to mitigate some of the additional risk” .

Working from home advice also remains in place for Scottish companies until a review on August 9.

Ms Sturgeon warned that “lifting all restrictions and mitigations right now would put all of us at greater risk” and make it “more difficult for the most clinically vulnerable to go about their normal lives”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been urged to end “mixed messages” on face masks, working from home and vaccine passports as he scraps lockdown laws for England on Monday.

Ms Sturgeon said she wanted to “restore more freedom” but warned that masks should stay in place and she was willing to “take flack” from those who did not agree.

She added: “As with today’s decisions we will assess the data before coming to a final decision nearer the time, and I will provide a further update to parliament in the week before August 9.”

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