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All legal restrictions to end on 21 March in Scotland - Perthshire Chamber of Commerce

All legal restrictions to end on 21 March in Scotland

Scotland's legal Covid-19 restrictions, including the wearing of face coverings, will end on 21 March.

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

But all legal restrictions on people and businesses will end as part of an effort to "return to a normal way of life".

Meanwhile, the country's vaccine passport scheme will end on 28 February.

The plan is part of a new strategic framework the government has drawn up for dealing with the pandemic in the future.

Ms Sturgeon said it would see Scotland move away from legal restrictions, relying instead on vaccines.

The move comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England's restrictions will be lifted on Thursday, with the requirement to self-isolate dropped and free mass testing to end in April.

Ms Sturgeon expressed frustration at Mr Johnson's approach, calling for clarity about how the testing system - which operates UK-wide - would operate in future.

However she said the level of infection and hospital admissions were falling sufficiently to set a timetable for the easing of the curbs still in place in Scotland.

The Covid certification scheme - vaccine passports which are required when attending large events including concerts and football matches - will come to an end on Monday 28 February.

And the remaining legal restrictions will be phased out on 21 March - including the requirement for people to wear face covering in enclosed spaces and on public transport, and rules for businesses on collecting customer details and taking measures to reduce the spread of the virus.

Dr Liz Cameron CBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has commented on the publication of the Scottish Government’s updated Covid-19 Strategic Framework saying:

“This is a monumental moment for Scotland’s business community who will be greatly relieved to see the publication of the Scottish Government’s updated Covid-19 Strategic Framework.

“The removal of mandatory vaccine certification from 28th February followed by the expected removal of all other remaining legal measures on the 21st March will give Scotland’s economy a significant boost, drive up confidence and allow businesses to finally begin to trade again unencumbered.

“Businesses have invested millions throughout the course of the pandemic to keep their customers and employees safe.  It’s therefore positive to see the Scottish Government put their trust back in businesses to manage the health and safety of workplace environments as Scotland adjusts to living and working alongside the virus.

“The new framework provides greatly improved clarity for businesses about the future of restrictions and will allow them to plan ahead now with increased confidence, however, without clear and definitive triggers, business will be concerned about what restrictions may be reimposed if another variant is to pose a significant threat.

“This updated framework should mark the end of a difficult chapter for Scottish businesses and give Scotland’s economy an improved shot at recovery, renewal and growth.”

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