After Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that remaining coronavirus rules in England will soon be scrapped, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced on Tuesday February 22nd that the country’s own legal rules put in place to stem the spread of Covid will also be eased.
On Wednesday March 30th, still more Covid rules were eased in Scotland
Nicola Sturgeon told Holyrood today that face covering rules will remain in place for two weks, before changing to guidance from the Scottish government.
“This phased approach strikes 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 subsides,” the First Minister told MSPs.
"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 provides some further protection to those who are most at risk from the virus.”
Here’s which Covid rules will end in Scotland and the date from which they will no longer be in place.
What date will Scottish face mask rules end?
Nicola Sturgeon announced on Wednesday March 30th that current Scottish Covid restrictions around face masks and coverings will be removed as legal rules in the country ease.
Face masks will no longer be legally required to be worn in indoor public settings such as places of worship, shops, health care settings, and public transport from April 18th, instead changing to guidance from then on.
The wearing of face coverings in shops and other indoor public places will still be “strongly recommended” by the Scottish Government.
The removal of face covering rules in Scotland will see the country’s Covid rules change to match those in England, where face masks have not been legally required in indoor public settings since the end of January.
Will self-isolation requirements end in Scotland?
The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said in an announcement in February that, while legal requirements would be eased, rules around testing and self-isolation will remain in place.
Ms Sturgeon said that the self-isolation period itself, currently either seven or 10 days depending on vaccination status, will remain under review and people who test positive for coronavirus will still be asked to self-isolate in Scotland.
And as the scrapping of free lateral flow tests looms in England, the First Minister confirmed that lateral flow tests and PCR tests will remain free during the transition period.
Those who have Covid symptoms are still advised to get a PCR test, while lateral flow testing recommendations will be relaxed to ask people to test twice a week rather than before going out to mix with others or socialise.
When did Covid vaccine passports end in Scotland?
Coronavirus rules currently in place in Scotland requiring nightclubs, football stadiums and other venues to check the vaccine status of Scots upon entry with vaccine passports ended on Monday February 28th.
This means that staff at venues previously determined to be high risk settings for the spread of Covid are no longer legally required to check check whether attendees have been fully vaccinated or tested negative for entry.
The First Minister stated that the NHS Scotland Covid Status app and its checking app for venues used to uphold the scheme can still be used should businesses want to continue checking the vaccination and test status of customers.