Holyrood Election 2021: When do the polling stations across Scotland open and what are the covid restriction rules?

With less than 24 hours before voters across Scotland mark an X in their selected candidates’ boxes, here’s everything you need to know: from the time polling stations open, to which Covid restrictions you’ll need to follow.

What rules are in place at polling stations?

The Scottish Government has said they have put in place a set of measures to ensure polling stations are, what they describe as, “COVID-secure” to ensure voters can feel confident casting their vote.

As a result, voters attending polling stations can expect to see many of the protective measures they are already now familiar with.

A voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box (Photo: Rui Vieira).
A voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box (Photo: Rui Vieira).
A voter placing a ballot paper in the ballot box (Photo: Rui Vieira).
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Hand sanitiser will be available, and screens, distance markings and protective barriers will be in use across polling sites.

Social distancing will be in place both inside and outside polling stations.

All voters and staff must wear a face covering unless exempt.

Voters are also being encouraged to bring their own pen or pencil to mark their ballot papers, although fresh clean pencils will still be available for all.

You must vote at your assigned polling station.

People can check which polling station they should go to via the postcode checker.

Can I go to a polling station if I have coronavirus?

Anyone who has tested positive for coronavirus, or who is displaying symptoms, should not go to a polling station, the Scottish Government has said.

The Scottish Government, as well as the other UK Governments, has put in place new rules to allow for emergency proxy voting leading up to polling day and until 5pm on the day itself.

This will mean that voters who are self-isolating due to coronavirus exposure, testing or symptoms can still have their say in these elections without having to leave their home

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What time do polling stations open?

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Polling stations will open at 7am on Thursday May 6 across Scotland to allow many to put in their votes before they head to work.

The polling stations in Scotland will be open for 15 hours.

Polling stations such as community halls village, primary schools and other electoral venues will close at 10pm.

However, if you are in the line to vote before 10pm and get to the door after the closing time, the polling clerks will still allow you in to cast your ballot.

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