Nicola Sturgeon told to finally ditch face mask rule as Scotland lags behind rest of the UK

Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to bring Scotland in line with the rest of the UK and finally lift the rule requiring face masks to be worn in indoor public spaces.

The First Minister will make a statement at Holyrood tomorrow on coronavirus amid speculation the few remaining restrictions will not be ended.

Scots are still expected to wear face masks when visiting shops or using public transport despite the other three UK nations having ended the requirement.

Reported cases of covid have rocketed north of the Border with an estimated one in 10 Scots suspected of having the virus at least twice.

Sturgeon is not expected to impose any fresh restrictions on Wednesday.

The Office for National Statistics estimated on Friday that one in 11 people have the virus in Scotland – compared to one in 15 people in England, one in 17 in Northern Ireland and one in 25 in Wales.

SNP ministers have said that is because the Omicron BA.2 variant, a more transmissible form of Omicron, first took hold in Scotland and the rest of the UK will catch up.

Humza Yousaf said on Sunday that “Government at this stage is not considering further restrictions”.

But the Scottish Conservatives have urged the First Minister to finally bin the face mask rule.

Douglas Ross said: “Nicola Sturgeon must give up control over people’s lives and ditch Covid rules tomorrow.

“She can’t use the higher case rates that she has completely failed to reduce as an excuse to delay or backtrack on lifting the remaining restrictions.

“We have now been living under some form of legal Covid restrictions for over two years. Nicola Sturgeon must now start to trust the Scottish public to keep themselves safe.”

The Scottish Tory leader added: “Despite their overly cautious approach, the SNP’s Covid strategy has failed. Scotland’s infection rates have been significantly higher than England’s for several weeks.

“All the SNP have achieved with their dithering and delays is to prolong the hardship of the public and businesses.

“Nicola Sturgeon cannot keep Scotland in Covid restrictions forever. It’s time we got back to normality.”

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