Face coverings will be COMPULSORY in shops in Scotland from July 10, says Nicola Sturgeon as she announces two-metre rule will be eased to save hospitality sector
- Nicola Sturgeon has announced that face coverings will be compulsory in shops
- New rule in Scotland will come into force from July 10, the First Minister says
- Ms Sturgeon followed England in easing the two-metre social distancing rule
Wearing face coverings will be compulsory in shops in Scotland from July 10, Nicola Sturgeon announced today.
The First Minister said the move would help control the spread of the virus north of the border.
She said the rule on face coverings on public transport was being extended to indoor retail environments.
The instruction will come into force next week when Scotland goes into the next stage of easing its lockdown, she told her daily briefing in Edinburgh.
Meanwhile, Ms Sturgeon also followed England in declaring that the two-metre rule will be eased. She admitted the social distancing had ‘serious economic consequences’, and from July 10 exceptions will be allowed in hospitality and some other areas.
Wearing face coverings will be compulsory in shops in Scotland from July 10, Nicola Sturgeon announced today
Non-essential shops started reopening in Scotland this week, a fortnight after England. Pictured, Princes Street in Edinburgh
Ms Sturgeon said: ‘Face coverings in shops will be compulsory from the end of next week but please don’t wait until then, get into the habit now.’
She said that as people start to interact more it is ‘vital we take steps to reduce risks’.
On social distancing measures, she said sticking to the two-metre rule has ‘serious economic implications’.
From the end of next week, exceptions would be allowed for specific sectors – including hospitality and retail – to operate within a one-metre distance with mitigation measures.
Ms Sturgeon said if Covid-19 infection levels were to rise, the Scottish Government ‘reserve the right to reimpose a strict two-metre rule, either nationally or locally’.
But she also said continued progress might mean a ‘more general relaxation in later phases’.
She announced that physical distancing will no longer apply to most children aged 11 and under when they are outdoors from tomorrow.
That would allow youngsters to ‘play more normally with your friends, which I hope you will enjoy’.
Children are still advised to stay two metres away from people when indoors, she added, and the change will not apply to those who are shielding.
For older children aged between 12 and 17 Ms Sturgeon said physical distancing should still apply, but she said the Scottish Government was lifting the limit on the number of meetings they could have in any one day.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the enforcement of face coverings on trains, Tubes and buses will be ramped up
She told this group: ‘You can meet different groups of friends at different times of the day.
‘It also means you won’t be prevented from meeting your friends just because your parents or carers or your brother or sister happens to be meeting their friends.’
Despite the change on face covering in Scotland, the rules look set to stay the same in England.
However, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the enforcement on trains, Tubes and buses will be ramped up.
There have been complaints that many people are flouting the rules, and not being fined by the authorities.
Mr Shapps told MPs there was 86 per cent compliance according to the latest figures.
‘We’ve seen very high levels of compliance on face coverings,’ he said.
‘It looks like, according to the Office of National Statistics, on the week of June 26 that 86 per cent compliance was in existence.
‘We did say in the early days that we would ensure compliance was gently enforced but I do want to inform the House that TfL (Transport for London), Network Rail, British Transport Police will be tightening up on that implementation.
‘I’ve signed just under regulation 8 of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Wearing of Face Coverings on Public Transport) England regulations 2020 powers for TfL to increase enforcement.’