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  HOME PAGE 27/09/2021 09:38 
03.08.2021 19:41 News >> Scotland To Lift Almost All COVID-19 Restrictions Next Week

Scotland To Lift Almost All COVID-19 Restrictions Next Week

'Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is premature,' cautions Scottish First Minister Sturgeon.

Scotland's first minister announced on Tuesday that almost all remaining COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted from next Monday.
Addressing the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon, Nicola Sturgeon said the latest easing of restrictions "will entail the lifting of most of the remaining legally enforced restrictions, most notably on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings."
"It also means that from Aug. 9 no venues will be legally required to close," she said.
"This change is significant and hard-earned. The sacrifices everyone has made over the past year-and-a-half can never be overstated.
"However, while this move will restore a substantial degree of normality, it is important to be clear that it does not signal the end of the pandemic or a return to life exactly as we knew it before COVID-19 struck.
"Declaring freedom from, or victory over, this virus is premature. The harm the virus can do, including through the impact of long COVID-19, should not be underestimated. And its ability to mutate may yet pose us real challenges."
The changes mean that from Aug. 9, sports and music venues can reopen at full capacity, with social distancing coming to an end. Double-vaccinated individuals will also no longer have to self-isolate if a close contact tests positive for coronavirus, so long as they test negative.
A few restrictions will remain, however. These include face masks being mandatory "for some time to come", working from home will continue to be advised, and the use of vaccine passports for certain events will continue to be considered.
On the last issue, Sturgeon said: "We do not underestimate the ethical, equity and human rights issues associated with COVID-19-status certification and will keep members updated and consulted on our thinking on this issue."
Sturgeon also struck a note of caution with regards to the future, however, saying that "no one can guarantee" that restrictions would not have to be re-imposed.
"We all hope – I know I certainly do – that the restrictions we lift next Monday will never again have to be re-imposed. But no one can guarantee that," she said.
"This virus remains a threat – and as we enter winter, it may well pose challenges for us again. So as we have done throughout, the government will seek to take whatever action is necessary to keep the country safe."
The British government data released on Tuesday showed 21,691 more cases across the UK over the past 24 hours. This brings the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to over 5.9 million. Another 138 deaths brought the death total to 129,881.
As of Aug. 2, over 46.8 million Britons, 88.7%, have received their first dose of vaccine, and over 38.5 million Britons, 73.0%, their second dose. -



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