THE LEGAL requirement to wear face coverings in most indoor public spaces and on public transport will become guidance from 18th April.
Members of the public are advised to carry on taking sensible precautions to reduce the spread of Covid-19.
It is strongly recommended that face coverings continue to be worn where appropriate – including in indoor crowded spaces and on public transport.
Data shows the situation has generally improved but Covid has not gone away with over 5,000 cases a day still being recorded in Scotland.
It was confirmed earlier this month that people without Covid-19 symptoms will no longer be asked to take regular lateral flow tests from 18th April.
The change forms part of the Test and Protect Transition Plan, which sets out how testing will become more targeted, with the aim of reducing serious harm from Covid-19.
The plan summarises that tests will continue to be free for any advised testing but will not be available to the general public for the purpose of routine testing.
Despite the flurry of incoming changes, people with symptoms should still isolate and get a PCR test until the end of April, and vaccinated close contacts should continue to test daily for seven days with LFDs.
In a letter to the Presiding Officer and relevant Committee Convenors, Ministers confirmed the remaining legal requirements will be lifted as expected later this week.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “In recent weeks we have seen steady progress as we move back to a greater sense of normality and a more sustainable way of managing this virus.
“However our NHS is still under pressure and the most vulnerable members of our society can still benefit from additional measures to protect them from the virus.
“That is why although the use of face coverings will become guidance rather than a legal requirement I strongly recommend members of the public continue wearing face coverings in indoor settings where possible, and particularly when significant numbers of people are present.
“We should also all continue to follow the latest advice on hygiene, ventilation, testing and of course vaccination to protect ourselves and each other.”
People who have symptoms of COVID-19 will still be able to book PCR tests in the usual way until 30th April.
From that date, test sites will close and people with symptoms will no longer be advised that they need to seek a test.
The public health advice for people who feel unwell will be to stay at home until they feel better, to reduce the risk of infecting other people.