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Covid: what does Scotland’s roadmap out of restrictions look like - including key dates on face masks

The First Minister said that the announcement of a roadmap out of restrictions was a “key moment” for Scotland

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has updated the public on the roadmap out of Covid restrictions.

Ms Sturgeon has advised that legal Covid restrictions will end in Scotland by 21 March.

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The First minister did warn however that this date is dependant on “no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus”.

What does Scotland’s roadmap out of restrictions looks like?

From Monday 28 February, those in Scotland will no longer be required to provide a valid Covid certificate to enter venues such as nightclubs and football matches.

Face coverings will no longer be legally required in public spaces such as public transport or in shops from 21 March.

Places of worship and businesses will no longer be forced to follow covid guidance and the requirement to hold customer details in hospitality venues will also be scrapped from 21 March.

Nicola Sturgeon has however insisted that Scots will have “continued access to PCR and lateral flow testing free of charge where we transition to a system of testing that is more targeted”, after it was announced that free testing was to end in England on 1 April.

While it has never been a legal requirement to self-isolate in Scotland, Ms Sturgeon has insisted that Scots continue to self-isolate if they test positive for the virus.

What did Nicola Sturgeon say about the roadmap?

While Ms Sturgeon noted that the announcement of a roadmap out of restrictions is a “key moment” for Scotland, she warned that it was dependant on “no significant adverse developments in the course of the virus”.

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.”

The First Minister added: “This new approach will see us resort much less, hopefully not at all, to legally imposed protective measures.

“Instead, we will rely predominantly on vaccines, treatments and sensible public health behaviours and adaptations.

“However much as we might wish it was not the case, Covid is still a public health risk here and globally and likely to remain so for the foreseeable future so we must also remain vigilant and prepared.”

Ms Sturgeon also spoke of her “frustration” over the issue of free testing, after Boris Johnson confirmed yesterday that this was to stop in England on 1 April.

She stated that the decision taken by the UK Government has a knock-on effect to devolved nations’ ability to fund free testing beyond this date, saying: “Current funding arrangements mean that though taxpayers in all four UK nations contribute to the costs, it is decisions taken for England that determine the resources available to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for testing and other Covid measures.

“As of now, we have no clarity on how much of the Covid testing infrastructure the UK government intends to retain; no clarity on how much investment will support it in future; and no clarity on whether the Treasury will provide additional resources to pay for it or demand instead that funding is taken from elsewhere in the health budget.

“I hope we get this clarity soon so that we can out in more detail our longer-term approach to testing.”

How many Covid cases are there in Scotland?

As of Tuesday 22 February, there were 6,427 new cases reported within the past 24 hours.

There are currently 1,060 people in hospital with recently confirmed Covid-19, while 12 of these people have been placed in intensive care.

There have been 18 confirmed deaths in the past 24 hours.

4,433,160 people have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine, with 4,152,325 of those having received a second dose.

3,404,119 people have received a third dose or booster shot.

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