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First Minister unveils latest Covid-19 face covering requirements in 'phased' approach in latest pandemic milestone


By Alan Shields

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Nicola
Nicola

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced plans to halt the legal requirement to wear a face mask in public settings.

Speaking to the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon said that as of April 4 face coverings would no longer be legally mandatory in places of worship and at funerals and weddings.

Two weeks later the changes will come into effect in other settings, such as shops.

She described it as a "phased approach".

It comes despite figures showing 1 in 11 people have had Covid-19 recently.

From the two April dates, face coverings will become an advisory issue.

The decisions marks the second time that the scrapping of face masks has been delayed in Scotland.

Critics of the plan had hoped today could mark the ending of the legal requirement.

But Ms Sturgeon said the current wave was still ongoing, adding she hoped it would start to taper off in the spring.

She also urged people with symptoms to continue to seek out a PCR test if they have symptoms and that lateral flow devices should be used on a twice weekly basis for the general public.

LFD tests should also be used before visiting people.

As of today there are 26 people in intensive care due to coronavirus – 15 less than a fortnight ago, the First Minister said.

The Scottish Government has also published the latest daily figures as of today (March 30).

They are as follows:

  • 9,610 new cases of Covid-19 reported
  • 34 new reported deaths of people who have tested positive
  • 20 people were in intensive care yesterday with recently confirmed Covid-19
  • 2,344 people were in hospital yesterday with recently confirmed Covid-19
  • 4,353,991 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 4,092,791 have received their second dose, and have 3,451,131 received a third dose or booster

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