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Most COVID restrictions lifted from 21 March, mask-wearing continues until April

Updated: Mar 13, 2023

From 21 March, all major COVID restrictions except mask-wearing in Scotland have been lifted

By Josh Pizzuto-Pomaco

Courtesy of Alexandra_Koch via Pixabay

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the plans to the Scottish Parliament last month, stating, 'Governments must act lawfully – and that means we cannot impose legal restrictions when it is disproportionate to do so. As the situation improves and the severity of the impact from Covid reduces, we are duty-bound to remove legally imposed restrictions.'

In addition to restrictions such as social distancing being dropped last Monday, the legal requirement for vaccine passports to enter certain venues was ended on 28th February.

However, the Scottish government will continue to mandate that COVID-positive individuals self isolate, in contrast to the UK Government, who dropped the legal requirement for self isolation earlier this week.

Sturgeon criticised the UK Government's decision to stop funding free COVID testing in April. She said, 'We have no clarity on how much of the Covid testing infrastructure the UK government intends to retain; no clarity on how much investment will support it in future; and no clarity on whether the Treasury will provide additional resources to pay for it or demand instead that funding is taken from elsewhere in the health budget.'

Despite original plans to lift mask mandates on public transportation and other spaces from the 21st of March, Sturgeon extended the requirement to wear masks in such places to the beginning of April, citing a recent spike in COVID cases as the rationale.

In an email to the student body last week, Ruth Taylor, Vice Principal for Education, commented on the changes and their effect on the University, saying,

‘Face coverings will continue to be worn at the University until at least Friday 1 April when spring break commences. Guidance on the use of face coverings going forward will follow in the weeks ahead.’

‘Although legal requirements around physical distancing end from Monday [21 March], there will be no immediate change in current timetabling arrangements – which have been calculated based on distancing requirements in classrooms – to ensure no disruption to students.’


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