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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that most coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on August 9, but masks will still be mandatory in shops and on public transport.

Restrictions such as social distancing and limits on the number of people at gatherings will end, as well as the curfew on hospitality settings.

On August 9, the only remaining covid restriction will be that face coverings are a legal requirement in stores unless customers are exempt. The collection of contact details as part of Test and Protect will also continue.

Close contacts of those who test positive for Covid will no longer have to self-isolate – as long as they are fully vaccinated and test negative using a PCR test.

On face coverings, NEC member Mo Razzaq said, “At the end of the day, if a customer is adamant they don’t want to wear a mask, you can bar them or refuse service but the problem is that we don’t know anything about their health conditions, both mental and physical. It would be awful for us to bar that person and then find out afterwards that they are actually exempt.

“Retail staff shouldn’t have to be the police.”

According to the Scottish government website, people responsible for relevant premises where face coverings are required should take reasonable steps to promote compliance with the law. It does not state what the reasonable steps should be.

When announcing the end to most restrictions, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The move beyond level 0 will entail the lifting of most of the remaining legally imposed restrictions – most notably, on physical distancing and limits to the size of social gatherings. It also means that from 9 August, no venues will be legally required to close.

“This change is significant and it is 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 struck.”

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