Scotland finally removed their mandate today just under three months after England lifted the restriction. While Scots are relieved that the measure has finally been revoked, there is a “real feeling” in the country that it should have happened sooner. Despite the more stringent rules, Scotland still recorded high cases of coronavirus with a peak in March that eclipsed the rest of the UK.
GB News Scotland reporter Davie Donaldson said: “In Scotland there’s been a real feeling that we’re three months behind England in terms of the facemasks.
“A lot of people here feel like we should have followed suit a lot sooner after [England revoked mandatory facemasks].
“The laughable situation that some people see is that people were not wearing masks when they were sitting down in a bar or restaurant but then having to wear it when they went to the toilet.
“A lot of places will now be very happy that the law has changed to guidance, and I think we will see a lot of people not bothering to wear a facemask anymore.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced at the end of March that the facemask mandate would be extended until today, causing fury among the public.
The measure was expected to be lifted in the first week of April, but Ms Sturgeon told MSPs on March 30 that that would no longer be the case.
It was the second time that she had delayed the lifting of the mandate, having originally promised to remove it on March 21.
She caused further controversy by adding that face coverings would cease to be mandatory in places of worship, weddings and funerals on April 4, several weeks before pubs and restaurants.
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Opposition ministers from the Conservative and Liberal Democratic parties accused her of “blatant hypocrisy”.
The First Minister was then reported to Police Scotland, who said they were investigating the matter.
She was also caught in December 2020 without a facemask while attending a funeral. She apologised for that incident and described it as “a stupid mistake”.
Scotland’s infection rates are now among the lowest in the UK, with just under 6 percent of people, or roughly 1 in 17, infected.