THE First Minister has announced an expansion of the law around wearing face coverings in Scotland.

Currently, people in Scotland must wear some form of mask or covering on both public transport and in shops.

Speaking at her daily briefing in Edinburgh, the Nicola Sturgeon says initial evidence suggests that compliance with those rules are very high.

The wearing of face coverings in enclosed spaces is already in public guidance, but with Scotland's gradual move out of lockdown continuing, the First Minister announced further locations in which it would become mandatory.

Where will I have to wear a mask?

Wearing a covering will now become mandatory in these situations:

  • Places of worship
  • Museums
  • Libraries
  • Other indoor spaces - details to come on Scottish Government website.

Full details will be available on the Scottish Government website.


When will the changes come into force?

The changes will take place from Saturday, August 8.

What was said about visors?

The First Minister said that evidence suggests the wearing of face visors on their own is not enough.

From Saturday, a face visor must be accompanied with another form of face covering. 

How will it be enforced?

The First Minister did not go into detail regarding this, however it is likely it will be enforced in a similar way to those on public transport and in shops.

She previously said it would be "not fair or reasonable" to expect shop workers to enforce the rules - and instead it would be down to the police to do so.

Fixed penalty notices - which start at £60 - could be handed out by the police, but she says they will do so only at a last resort.

Ms Sturgeon added: "All of us can help by doing this voluntarily because it can make a difference". 

Who is exempt?

Children under five will be exempt from this rule, Ms Sturgeon confirmed, along with those with certain medical conditions.

Following in line with the public transport rules, then the following groups may also be exempt:

  • Police officers/first responders in an emergency
  • Staff separate by a physical barrier – including bus drivers behind a screen
  • Anyone with a health condition where a mask would cause difficulty, including asthma
  • You need to take medication
  • To speak with someone who lip reads
  • When asked to remove it by a relevant authority, e.g. Police officer.

But Ms Sturgeon said: “For everyone else, face coverings will be mandatory."

What else was announced?

The First Minister also announced that it will become mandatory by law for hospitality venues to take contact details for all customers.

This is to help with the NHS Scotland Test and Protect scheme to stop the spread of the virus.