Scottish Government plans to extend Covid powers for up to six months

The regulations had been due to expire on February 28, but ministers plan to extend them until September 24.

Scottish Government plans to extend Covid powers for up to six months Flickr
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday said that Scotland is 'through the worst of' the Omicron wave.

The Scottish Government is seeking to retain powers allowing for the implementation of Covid measures until September this year.

Regulations were set out at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday to extend the expiry date for coronavirus requirements.

The regulations had been due to expire on February 28, but ministers have sought to extend them until September 24.

It includes enforcement powers for local authorities and extends to measures such as the use of face coverings and implementation of the vaccine certification scheme.

The requirements will be subject to a three-weekly review by ministers and will next be reviewed on February 22.

MSPs will scrutinise the regulations ahead of their extension at Holyrood.

Deputy first minister John Swinney insisted that the Government is “committed” to reviewing the regulations on a regular basis.

And he pledged that ministers will seek to continually remove any measures “considered no longer necessary”.

“Following the lifting of Omicron restrictions, ministers believe it is necessary to retain the availability of these baseline measures for now while we review our ongoing response to Covid,” he said.

“Taking steps now to extend these regulations does not mean that the regulations will necessarily remain in force until September, but will ensure they can continue for now, subject to three-weekly review in what is still an uncertain period of the pandemic.

“The Government is committed to regularly reviewing these regulations, as we are required to, and the continued removal of any measures considered no longer necessary.

“Further detail on how we manage the pandemic in future will be set out in an updated strategic framework, which we will publish before the end of the month.”

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