Covid Scotland LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon briefing as vaccine passports and masks to be scrapped

Follow The Scotsman’s live blog here as the First Minister gives an update on the covid situation in Scotland at Parliament today.

Nicola Sturgeon laid out the strategic framework for handling the Covid situation in Scotland on Tuesday just after 2pm in the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood.

Her update comes as Boris Johnson announced plans to scrap all restrictions in England.

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Mr Johnson announced those in England who test positive for coronavirus will no longer be legally required to isolate from Thursday.

Follow The Scotsman’s live blog here as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gives an update on the Covid situation in Scotland at Parliament today.

The Prime Minister also confirmed free universal testing will end in April under his plan for “living with Covid”.

Follow live here for all the latest updates as the First Minister prepares to give her briefing.

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Covid Scotland LIVE: Nicola Sturgeon briefing as restrictions lifted in England

Key Events

  • Scotland’s Covid passport scheme will end on Monday
  • Legal requirement to wear face masks ends on March 21
Show new updates

Scotland’s full strategic framework

The Scottish Government has published Scotland’s approach to managing Covid-19 as announced by Nicola Sturgeon at Parliament.

To access it, click here.

Main points from Covid update

- Scotland’s Covid passport scheme will end on Monday (February 28).

- Legal requirement to wear face masks ends on March 21 as well as requirement for businesses to collect customer contact details.

- Nicola Sturgeon said people would still be advised to wear masks in shops and on public transport.

Nicola Sturgeon announces end of vaccine passports as face mask rules to be relaxed

Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Covid passport scheme will end next week while the rules around face masks will be relaxed in March.

‘Lack of clarity in Covid update’, says Jackie Baillie

Scottish Labour’s Health and Covid Recovery spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “At times of crisis it is more important than ever for both governments in Scotland and the UK to work together in the interests of Scots, but instead we see conflict.

“Scottish Labour have set out our plan for living well with Covid, designed to keep people safe, provide them with certainty, and build resilience into our services. The continuation of testing, contact tracing and isolation is central to this.

“The First Minister talks about a transition phase in which testing will remain free of charge - but provides no clarity on what will happen after or what categories free testing will apply to.

“We also have no information about how risk levels will be determined, and what this will mean in practice.

“At a time when people are looking for more certainty about the future, there are not yet answers on the fundamental measures that will be in place to protect Scots.

“We were promised a framework, but this looks like a progress report.

“Public health is devolved – the First Minister must tell us now if she is going to fund testing and contact tracing in order to protect Scots.”

Ms Sturgeon insisted there is a great amount of detail in the framework document.

Ross accuses FM of ‘copying’ Tory plans

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross told the Parliament he welcomed the lifting of “blanket legal restrictions, towards an approach based on public health guidance”.

He said the Scottish Government plans copied many plans laid out by the UK Government.

He asked why she is picking a fight with the UK Government over testing.

The First Minister argued that there was no clarity from the UK government on what it will retain in terms of testing or its funding.

She said Covid ‘has not gone away’ and contingency powers must be retained.

Extension of vaccine programme

Vaccine appointments for children aged 5-11 years old will be issued from mid-March.

Last week, the JCVI recommended that all five- to 11-year-olds should be eligible for the vaccine.

Care home residents, those over 75, and everyone over 12 who is immunosuppressed will be offered an additional booster six months after their last dose.

Self-isolation to continue in Scotland

Those who test positive are being asked to continue to self-isolate.

Detailed plan for Test and Protect in March

The First Minister said: “In March - by which time I hope we will have more clarity from the UK government on available resources - we will publish a detailed plan for Test & Protect, setting out our priorities in more detail, and describing the scale of infrastructure that will remain in place for the longer term. The plan will also confirm the duration, beyond the end of March, of any transition period during which the system will operate - broadly - on the same basis as now.”

Vaccine passports to be scrapped on February 28

Nicola Sturgeon announces the covid vaccine passport scheme in Scotland will end on Monday.

Those in Scotland wanting to attend some late night premises with music or larger events currently have to show proof of their Covid status.

As of 21 March - assuming no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus - the legal requirement to wear face coverings in certain indoor settings and on public transport will be converted to guidance.

FM: "Highly like virus will continue to mutate”

Ms Sturgeon said their will be a “strong surveillance capability” to identify these variants.

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