England V Scotland

Following announcements from Prime Minister Boris Johnson and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon about new coronavirus rules in England and Scotland, here’s what you need to know about face mask rules.

© Are face masks still mandatory in Scotland after 9 August? Here are the different face mask rules fo...

In her much-awaited announcement on August 3, the First Minister confirmed that Scotland would be moving beyond Level 0 on Monday August 9, with many restrictions relaxing to provide Scots with greater freedom to travel, work and socialise.

But the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has routinely stressed that Scotland’s move out of lockdown will prioritise caution, as coronavirus cases continue to be spurred on by the highly transmissible Delta variant of Covid-19.

While many restrictions remaining in Scotland under Level 0 coronavirus rules will be lifted on Monday, some key requirements remain when it comes to face masks, self-isolating and going back to the office

READ MORE: Scotland Covid rules explained - what new changes will come into effect from 9 August

Ms Sturgeon’s approach to face masks has consistently jarred with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s, with Mr Johnson lifting face mask rules along with all legal coronavirus restrictions in England on July 19.

The Prime Minister declared that covid-19 face masks and coverings will no longer be mandatory to wear in indoor public spaces or on public transport in England – in a move which was reversed for public transport in London by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Here’s a rundown of what the current face mask rules are in England and Scotland, and how these will change in Scotland on August 9.

What are the face mask rules in England?

Right now, face masks or coverings need not be worn when gathering outdoors, but are required for most indoor public spaces like shops, restaurants, museums, taxis and transport hubs.

The most recent easing of restrictions saw people in Scotland’s level two areas being able to remove face masks when seated to eat or drink in a pub, bar or restaurant – as was also the case in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Face masks were also strongly advised to be worn in care homes and healthcare settings to prevent the spread of the virus.

The Prime Minister’s announcement will likely see many people cease to wear face masks on trains, planes and in shops after making them optional.

Once face masks rules are relaxed in England on July 19 and made a matter of personal choice, this does not mean that the same will apply to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as all four nations have their own separate rules and covid-19 restrictions even if they appear to be quite similar.

Are face masks mandatory in Scotland?

Scotland’s move into Level 0 on July 19 saw a range of coronavirus rules in the country relaxed, with pubs and bars opening till midnight and indoor social distancing reduced to one metre, as the country looked to its own provisional date of lifted restrictions on August 9.


Video: Sturgeon says face masks will remain in Scotland for some time (The Independent)

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