The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced to the Scottish Parliament that the current Coronavirus restrictions will be coming to an end within the coming months.
Starting on Monday 28 February, vaccine certification to enter nightclubs and large venues will no longer be required, and by 21 March all remaining restrictions will be lifted.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Government explained: “Vaccine certification will no longer be legally required from Monday 28 February, although the app will remain available so any business that wishes to continue certification on a voluntary basis to reassure customers will be able to do so
“Current legal requirements on the use of face coverings, 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 expected to be lifted on 21 March, subject to the state of the pandemic
“Access to lateral flow and PCR tests will continue to be free of charge, ahead of a detailed transition plan being published on the future of Scotland’s test and protect programme in March.”
Now, local businesses are embracing the government’s announcement now that Scotland is moving closer to pre-pandemic trading.
Vicki Unite, the chief executive officer of the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce, explained: “It’s the green light that our Highland Perthshire businesses have been waiting for. And that we’ve been asking for some time now for the removal of the vaccine certification scheme.
“And the fact that as of March the 21st, there is no legal requirement to adhere to the government’s measures will hopefully can enable our businesses to move forward with renewed vigour.
“After a desperate period of time, many Highland Perthshire businesses have been pushed to their brink by a lack of clarity throughout the pandemic with no definitive roadmap out of COVID or indeed a definitive date that they might focus on. So, the fact that there now is one is positive.”
The first minister emphasised that Coronavirus will continue to play a part in our lives but that now the responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe is now moving into the hands everyone living in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon outlined: “Covid is unfortunately still with us and we must therefore remain vigilant and prepared for the threats it poses. But today’s new framework is an important moment in our recovery. It marks the point at which we move away, hopefully sustainably, from legal restrictions, and rely instead on sensible behaviours, adaptations and mitigations.
“Our return to normality must go hand in hand with a continuing determination to look out for and after each other. All of us have a part to play in ensuring a safe and sustainable recovery, so please continue to follow public health advice on getting vaccinated, testing as regularly as appropriate, wearing face coverings when required or recommended, and keeping rooms ventilated.”
More information on Coronavirus in Scotland can be found on: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/