Covid Scotland: Jason Leitch says wearing face masks is a 'selfless act' that should stay in place as coronavirus Delta variant continues to spread
The National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, has said that the clinical advice he will offer the Scottish Government will include the continued use of face masks, as well as encouraging people to meet outdoors and regularly wash their hands.
It is expected that Boris Johnson is going to announce later today that face coverings will no longer be mandatory in public spaces in England from July 19, but speaking on BBC Good Morning Scotland Prof Leitch said that wearing them is a “largely selfless act” which protects those around you.
When asked how travel between England and Scotland would work if different rules on face coverings apply, Prof Leitch said it was down to the First Minister and the government to decide, but that his advice will be for some pandemic rules to remain in place.
He said: “Our public health advice will be that you should wash your hands more often, if you can do things outdoors; you should, and face coverings in crowded areas to protect others.
"Remember, this is principally a selfless act to protect other people – which would still be a sensible thing to do if you can’t distance fully.”
The Scottish Government has previously said that there will be an ongoing need for face coverings past August 9 when further coronavirus restrictions are set to ease.
Prof Leitch continued on to say that the crucial question when it comes to the easing of restrictions is whether an increase in hospital, ICU admissions and deaths are reported.
He said: “Of course, when you open there is more risk to the population, but you have to balance that with economic harms and social harms.
"Schools are now closed which is probably good for transmission, which buys us a little bit more time, but that’s why we’re saying there will still be some baseline mitigations.
“I think you’ll still wear face coverings in crowded places, I think you won’t go to work if you’ve got symptoms, and there will still be a testing regime in order for us to get you if you’re positive and isolate you.”
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