Face coverings to be mandatory for shoppers in Scotland

Clay Curtis
July 3, 2020

Children aged 12 to 17 are asked to continue to physically distance but can meet in groups of up to eight outdoors and no more than two other households at a time.

The five-mile limit for leisure travel will be lifted for most of the country from Friday, as will restrictions on self-contained self-catering accommodation.

At today's Scottish Government briefing Nicola Sturgeon said: "This is the first time since March that the total number of deaths has been below the five-year average, in other words the first time since then that we don't have a number of excess deaths above that average".

The general distancing guidance remains two metres but when phase three starts to begin from the end of next week, there will be exemptions for hospitality, retail and public transport.

Last night there were 439 people in Scottish hospitals who were being treated for confirmed Covid-19 infections - down from 450 the previous day.

"However, the advice also notes that, as the number of infected individuals falls, there is less chance of any of us coming into contact with someone who has the virus and so absolute risk is lower".

And she mentioned face coverings would be required in outlets from that date. It also notes that risk can be mitigated through other measures.

"And we've been obtaining a dialogue with a lot more sectors like retail about decreasing distancing, and that improves the importance of mitigations like experience coverings".

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"Taking all of this into account the Scottish Government has reached the following conclusions".

There will be different mitigation measures for different sectors such as restaurants, bars and hairdressers. However, the basic foundation principles and hygiene measures remain as important as ever - each and every one of us must strike the right balance in order to keep the momentum of lifting lockdown going while protecting the progress made.

In these areas, the distance can go down to one metre, as long as there are mitigating measures such as enhanced ventilation, perspex screens, regulation of customer flow and seating plans.

She added the Government recognises the two-metre rule has benefits, but it also has "serious economic implications" which can impact on people's health.

"We have proceeded for a time period with a voluntary tactic to this", she stated.

But she said: "For everyone else, face coverings will be mandatory". "Some folks are complying and some are not, I'm not pointing fingers or attempting to blame people for that but we have to make a judgement if we're heading into a period where additional men and women are interacting".

The only exemptions in shops will be children under five and people with certain medical exemptions.

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