Will Nicola Sturgeon finally abandon Scotland’s Covid face mask rules?

Nicola Sturgeon will give a Covid update on Tuesday as she confirms whether the legal requirement to wear face coverings will end.

The Prime Minister eased most of the remaining virus restrictions two weeks ago, but kept mask rules in place due to the high number of cases.

Scotland’s infection rate remains high with more than 2,000 people hospitalized after contracting Covid and thousands testing positive every day.

But vaccines continue to resist serious illnesses, with most Covid prevention measures now gone.

Last week’s relaxation of rules saw test and trace requirements scrapped in pubs and restaurants, while businesses no longer have to apply the government’s Covid passport scheme.

Travel restrictions have been eased while free virus testing will also end later in the spring.

Will the Covid mask rules end?

In her announcement two weeks ago, Nicola Sturgeon hinted that face coverings would only be needed for a short time until Covid cases stabilised.

Speaking on Sunday, SNP Health Secretary Humza Yousaf declined to be fired over the possible abandonment of masks.

But he assured BBC viewers that the Scottish government would not apply any new restrictions.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf.

He said: “The government, at this stage, is not considering any further restrictions.

“We have an important decision to make on Tuesday on whether we remove the last legal restriction or protected measure and turn it into guidance, which is of course the wearing of face coverings.

“That’s a discussion the Cabinet will have on Tuesday.”

While Scots would no longer legally need to wear masks if the rules are changed, individual businesses such as shops and restaurants will still be able to ask customers to wear them.

Rival calls for relaxation of rules

Scottish Tories have repeatedly urged Nicola Sturgeon to drop all remaining legal Covid protections.

After the Prime Minister’s announcement two weeks ago, Douglas Ross said Scotland was at risk of being “stuck” with anti-virus measures.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has said Tory-led councils will not introduce the workplace parking charge
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross.

The SNP leader admitted that keeping the mask mandate would be “disappointing” for businesses.

All remaining Covid measures – including the requirement to self-isolate if you are infected – have already been scrapped by Boris Johnson in England.

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[Will Nicola Sturgeon finally scrap Scotland’s Covid face mask rules?]

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