Face masks no longer required in Scottish hospitality from 18 April

By BigHospitality

- Last updated on GMT

Face masks no longer required in Scottish hospitality from 18 April

Related tags: face masks, Coronavirus, Government, Scotland

Face masks will no longer be required to be worn in hospitality businesses in Scotland from next week, the Scottish Government has confirmed.

The ruling, which has twice been delayed because of a rising number of cases of Covid in the country, comes into place on 18 April.

However, the Government is strongly advising people to continue wearing masks in crowded indoor places and on public transport.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the country had seen steady progress as it moves 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,” she said.

“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.”

Responding to the announcement, the Scottish Licensed Trade Association (SLTA) says that it was “not before time and long overdue”.

“Scotland has been out of step with England for months and it has led to confusion for customers, particularly visitors from south of the Border, and frustration for business owners and their staff – the lack of use of face coverings has been clearly evident in many settings,” says Colin Wilkinson, SLTA managing director.

“The decision to move the legislation to ‘guidance’ is warmly welcomed although not before time and long overdue and while we had hoped it would have been in force ahead of the Easter holidays, a time when licensed hospitality traditionally experiences an uplift in business, it is better late than never.”

 “There is still an exceptionally long and uphill struggle ahead for many hospitality businesses with ongoing issues to overcome and the Scottish Government needs to support our industry which is key to the economy and jobs.

“The last thing the sector needs right now is to be hindered in its recovery with issues which have been sitting on the back burner since Covid hit us, such as the deposit return scheme (DRS), calorie labelling on menus, and the introduction of a tourist tax.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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