People living in Scotland have been urged to continue following public health advice, despite the legal requirement on face coverings set to be dropped.
Professor Linda Bauld made the recommendation as she explained that there are still “really high levels of infection” with the BA.2 Omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.
On Easter Monday, those in Scotland will no longer be legally required to wear a face mask in most indoor public spaces and on public transport.
However, it will still be strongly advised for people to continue to observe the current protection measures.
Those include wearing a face covering indoors in public spaces, and being in well ventilated areas.
Bauld, who is professor of public health at Edinburgh University, pointed to the high levels of transmissibility of the virus, despite pandemic restrictions easing.
“We’re seeing a lot of busy parts of the country,” she told BBC Breakfast on Saturday.
“I was in Edinburgh city centre yesterday, it was packed.
“There’s a lot of visitors here in our city, which is brilliant to see.
“But let’s remember even though the ONS infections survey shows a decline in cases over the last week up to last Friday, which is good news, there are still really high levels of infection with this BA.2.
“And it’s really transmissible, so if you’re in indoor places with others you don’t normally live with, of course people may pick it up.
“And they’re unlikely to become severely unwell, but I think at a time when we’ve lifted basically all the protective measures and it’s down to people’s decisions, we still need to just be aware of that.”
Professor Bauld indicated that the public health advice will still be heard for “some months to come”.
“I’m sure places that have lots of visitors at the moment are giving advice wearing a face covering indoors even if it’s not a legal requirement, thinking about being in well ventilated places, and then finally, just making sure that everybody is up to date with their vaccines before they travel.
“So these are practical things, practical advice we’re going to be hearing around the country for some months to come.”