Covid-19: Mandatory face coverings in shops and quarantine exemptions among latest changes in Scotland
A number of changes now apply to Covid-19 lockdown rules in Scotland, which include face coverings becoming mandatory in shops and new exemptions to the UK quarantine law coming into play.
Facial coverings were already obligatory on public transport in Scotland, prior to the new rule.
Children under five and individuals with certain disabilities or medical conditions will not be required to wear face coverings in shops.
The Scottish government has said that wearing facial coverings should hopefully lower the risk of Covid-19 transmission but warned that they are not a substitute to safe social distancing and regular hygiene practices such as washing hands.
Police Scotland said that it was appealing to Scottish citizens to take on a “personal responsibility to do the right thing”, adding that it would enforce the law on wearing facial coverings as a last resort.
As of Friday this week, new exemptions to the UK quarantine rule have also entered force, meaning that travellers arriving from listed countries do not have to self-isolate.
However, Scotland will still require individuals arriving from Spain to undergo quarantine, unlike the rest of the UK.
Any arrivals from countries not included in the exemption list must still quarantine for 14 days. This also includes people travelling to Scotland from the wider UK who have been in a country that is not exempt.
Among other changes, people in Scotland can now visit other people’s houses, with adults advised to continue practising social distancing with non-members of their own household. Children under 12 will no longer be subject to these restrictions.
The new rules allow eight people from a maximum of three different households to meet indoors, but people are still being advised to not meet people from more than four different households in any one day.
People are able to stay at other households overnight, should adults observe social distancing with members of other households.
Couples in Scotland that do not live together have been informed that they are not required to maintain distance either indoors or outdoors, while people who have been shielding no longer need to remain distanced from other members of their own household.
The latest changes have come into place in Scotland as Holyrood confirmed the country would enter phase three of its lockdown exit strategy.