Scotland Covid rules: Nicola Sturgeon lifts all legal restrictions from March 21

All legal restrictions relating to Covid-19 will be lifted from March 21.
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Nicola Sturgeon has announced the lifting of legal Covid restrictions from next month.

From March 21 Scots will no longer be required to wear face coverings while in public places, while the divisive vaccine passport scheme is set to end on February 28.

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Scots are still advised to wear face coverings in public places such as shops and public transport.

Unlike in England, members of the public will still be asked to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus.

Legal restrictions swapped for vaccines, treatments and good public health behaviours

Ms Sturgeon says that the government is swapping legal restrictions out for “vaccines, treatments, and sensible adaptations and good public health behaviours.”

The First Minister warned, however, that the easing of restrictions “should not be taken as a signal that Covid no longer presents any risk to health”.

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She said: “Even though certain measures, for example face coverings, may not be legal requirements in future, we will still recommend voluntary compliance as part of the range of behaviours that will help keep us safe as we manage Covid in a more sustainable and less restrictive way.”

Ms Sturgeon also warned that face mask rules could be reintroduced in the event of a medium-risk scenario, such as the re-emergence of a highly infections variant.

Emphasis on testing reduced

Ms Sturgeon said that those with symptoms should continue to take a PCR test.

She stated: “Firstly if you have Covid symptoms, you should continue to go for a PCR test. Access to these tests will remain free of charge at testing sites across the country.

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“Second, you should continue to make regular use of lateral flow tests even if you don’t have symptoms.

“The only immediate change we are making to current arrangements on lateral flow tests for the general population is in our advice on the frequency of testing.

“Instead of advice to test before going anywhere to mix with others, we will from Monday revert to advice to test at least twice a week and in particular if you are going to a crowded place or mixing with someone who is clinically vulnerable.

“Lateral flow tests will remain free of charge in the transition phase.”

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