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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

First Minister lifts Mandatory Face Masks and COVID Passports

The First Minister has confirmed that the Cabinet agreed an indicative timescale for lifting - or converting to guidance - the small number of legally imposed COVID restrictions that remain in place at this stage.

In a statement to Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said:

“I can confirm, firstly, that the COVID certification scheme requiring certain venues and events to check the vaccine or test status of attendees will come to an end next Monday 28 February.

“The app which supports the scheme will remain operational, however, so any business that wishes to continue COVID certification on a voluntary basis to reassure customers will be able to do so.

“Second, as of 21 March - assuming no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus - we expect that the legal requirement to wear face coverings in certain indoor settings and on public transport will be converted to guidance.

“We will continue to strongly recommend the wearing of face coverings in shops and other indoor public places, and on public transport.

“We also expect on 21 March to lift the legal requirement for businesses, places of worship and service providers to have regard to guidance on COVID, and to take practical measures set out in the guidance.

“And the legal requirement on businesses and service providers to retain customer contact details is also expected to end on 21 March.”

The First Minister did provide assurances that – despite a lack of clarity coming from the UK Government in regard to funding arrangements – a robust testing system will remain in place.

She furthermore urged the 600,000 people across Scotland who haven’t had their booster jab to come forward.

Kenneth Gibson MSP welcomed the statement:

“After a long and difficult two years it is great to see we have well and truly reached the final stages of COVID restrictions.

“We must remember that COVID will remain with us, and we should still use our common sense when socialising, and it is advisable to ensure you take every booster jab when offered.

“North Ayrshire has been coming to life again over the past months, and I look forward to that continuing as people feel less restricted in going out again.”

Read the full statement here.

Scotland's Strategic Framework as updated can be found here.


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