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First Minister’s Covid-19 Update – 22nd February 2022

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out the Scottish Government’s new update to its Strategic Framework for dealing with Covid-19 and outlined some policy announcements which would flow from this approach.

Key Points

Scotland’s Strategic Framework

  • In her update to the Scottish Parliament, the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon set out the Scottish Government’s updated Covid Strategy.[1]
  • This would entail fewer “legally imposed protective measures” and instead “rely predominantly on vaccines, treatments, and sensible public health behaviours and adaptations”.
  • In terms of future developments, the new framework provides three broad levels of future potential threat – low, medium and high. These levels would be guided by data and evidence

Policy Announcements

The First Minister also announced the indicative timetable for the remaining legal protections to be removed:

  • Scotland’s Covid certification scheme would end on 28th February but that it would remain available to any business who wished to use it on a voluntary basis.
  • Face coverings would cease to be mandatory from 21st March but would still be recommended on a voluntary basis through guidance.
  • The collection of customer details for contact tracing purposes, and for businesses, service providers and places of worship to have regard to guidance on Covid and to take reasonably practicable measures set out in the guidance, are also expected to be lifted on 21st March.
  • The Scottish Government would continue to provide people in Scotland with continued access to PCR and lateral flow testing free of charge, ahead of a detailed transition plan being published on the future of Scotland’s test and protect programme in March. The First Minister expressed frustration at the approach taken by the UK Government on testing and the lack of clarity provided on testing infrastructure and funding.
  • Unlike the approach in England, guidance on self-isolation would remain.

[1] See: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-scotlands-strategic-framework-update-february-2022/

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