Update on COVID-19 regulations

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Face covering rules to change.

LEGAL requirements to wear face coverings on public transport and most indoor public settings will be replaced with guidance in the coming weeks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today.

From Monday the legal requirement to wear a face-covering in places of worship or while attending a marriage ceremony, civil partnership registration, funeral or commemorative event will end.

The requirement to wear face coverings in other indoor areas such as retail spaces and public transport will become guidance on 18 April.

The most recent ONS Covid infection survey – for the week ending 20 March – indicated that one in 11 people in Scotland had Covid, with daily case figures suggesting case numbers are high but may be stabilising.

The First Minister told Parliament that the very high level of infection and ongoing pressure within the NHS had been taken into account when making the decision, and that data will continue to be assessed closely.

She said: “We will, of course, continue to encourage the wearing of face coverings in certain indoor places, especially where significant numbers of people are present.

“This phased approach strikes, I think, a sensible balance between our desire to remove this one remaining legal measure, and the common sense need for continued caution – not least for the sake of the NHS – while this wave of infection does subside.

“I recognise that face coverings are an inconvenience. However, given all the sacrifice of the past two years, and in view of the current pressure on the NHS, I believe the vast majority of people will accept that for a further two weeks this is a proportionate precautionary measure while we pass the peak of this latest wave. It also of course provides some additional protection to those who are most at risk from the virus.”

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