Face coverings mandatory on public transport in Scotland

Buses, trains, taxis and trams will be included in the rule, which comes into effect on Monday.

Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport in Scotland from Monday, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

Buses, trains, taxis and trams will be included in the rule, with only children under five, those with breathing problems or other physical conditions which make it difficult to wear a mask, being exempt.

Addressing MSPs at Holyrood on Thursday, the First Minister said: “We believe that this measure will be increasingly important as use of public transport increases, and that implementing it now will help to reduce the risks of transmission and build public confidence.

Addressing the possibility of reducing the recommended social distance from two metres to one, Sturgeon said she had asked advisers to look into changes, in particular settings where a reduction could be made to one or 1.5 metres. 

The new rule comes as Sturgeon moved Scotland into phase two in the route out of the coronavirus lockdown. 

At the start of her briefing she said: “Taking account of that progress and the other evidence we are required to assess, I am therefore very pleased to confirm that the Scottish Government has concluded that we can now move into the next phase of our exit from lockdown.

“I will set out specifically what that means in a moment. However, we must still exercise care and caution.”

From Monday, the First Minister said, the Scottish construction sector will move to the next phase of its restart plan, dentists will be able to open, professional sport can resume and places of worship will be able to reopen – although only for individual prayer and not services.

From June 29, outdoor markets, playgrounds and sports facilities will reopen in Scotland, along with attractions such as zoos and “garden attractions”, although visitors should not travel more than five miles from their homes and tickets should be bought in advance.

Non-essential shops will also be able to open from this date if they have outdoor entrances and exits.

Restrictions on moving house will also be dropped and weddings will be allowed to go ahead but only if they are outdoors and with “limited numbers”.

Sturgeon said there is “no date” for reopening beer gardens and outdoors spaces at restaurants, which had hoped to open. 

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