Scotland announces easing of restrictions

Scotland has confirmed how it will ease restrictions from next Monday, while retaining masks and some social distancing.

High school students wearing masks on their way home


The Scottish Government has confirmed that the country will ease some restrictions from 19th July, but will keep social distancing indoors and mask wearing.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “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.”

She added: “It is important to stress that 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 who previously had to shield.

“Lifting all restrictions and mitigations right now would put all of us at greater risk – but in particular it would make it much more difficult for the most clinically vulnerable to go about their normal lives. It would risk the imposition of shielding by default and, in my view, that is not something we should do.”

Her approach differs to that taken in England where all legal restrictions will be eased from 19th July and replaced by guidance which employers and others will have to decide whether to enforce.

From 19th July, Scotland will move to level 0, where up to eight people from up to four households can meet indoors at home. Up to 10 people from up to four households will be able to meet in a public indoor space – such as a pub or restaurant. And up to 15 people from up to 15 households can meet outdoors – whether in a private garden or public place.

Children under 12 don’t count towards the total number of people and will not count towards the total number of households from Monday.

Other easing of restrictions include those relating to weddings and funerals [up to 200 people can attend] and to pub or restaurant bookings. However, customers will still be required to provide contact details to assist Test & Protect and they will still be required to wear face coverings except when seated.

When it comes to social distancing, this will continue for indoor public places. Where there isn’t already a one-metre rule in place, the physical distance requirement will reduce from two metres to one metre and will apply between different household groups. Nightclubs will remain shut.

Meanwhile, Wales’ First Minister has said that Covid restrictions will not be abandoned ‘wholesale’ when they are reviewed next week.

When it comes to commuting, different train and bus companies appear to be operating different polices. Transport for London is expected to keep masks, while other companies are saying they will only ask people to wear them at busy times.

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