Covid Scotland: Masks, testing and self-isolation rule changes you need to know about before April 18


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For the past two years, we’ve lived with rules designed to curb the spread of Covid.

But as of next week, the final coronavirus regulations will be lifted in Scotland, marking a moment so many of us have been waiting for.

But what are the final rules to be lifted? Will you have to continue testing? And what are plans to end self-isolation? Or the rules if you’re travelling abroad?

We’re answering all your questions about the future of masks, testing and self-isolating with the virus.

Masks

For some, face coverings have become an integral part of public life. Others can’t wait to see the back of them.

From Monday, it will no longer be a legal requirement to wear them on public transport, in shops and other indoor settings.

The requirement to wear them in certain indoor settings, such as weddings and funerals, was already lifted on April 4.

Speaking about the decision to remove the legal requirement, Nicola Sturgeon said, while recognising face coverings are an inconvenience, they provide additional protection for those most at risk from the virus.

“We will, of course, continue to encourage the wearing of face coverings in certain indoor places, especially where significant numbers of people are present.”

How is testing and self-isolation advice changing?

Numerous changes are coming over the next couple of weeks with regards to PCR and lateral flow (LFD) testing and self-isolation advice.

From April 18:

  • Free LFDs for routine asymptomatic testing will no longer be available for the general public. You can buy tests for around £2 each from pharmacies if you wish to continue regularly testing yourself
  • You’ll no longer be advised to test twice weekly if you have no symptoms
  • You can still access free LFDs if you are a health or social care worker or are visiting vulnerable individuals in care homes or hospitals

Until April 30:

  • You should still self-isolate and book a PCR test if you have Covid symptoms
  • Close contacts of positive cases who are fully vaccinated should continue to do LFDs for seven days

After April 30:

  • People with Covid symptoms will no longer need to test or self-isolate.
  • However, public health advice for those with symptoms will be to stay at home until they feel better, to reduce the risk of infecting other people
  • Covid test sites will close and contact tracing will end

Travel

Vaccine passports are no longer needed to enter the UK. You also no longer need to test before or after flying into Scotland or self-isolate on arrival.

However, if you’re travelling abroad, the rules vary depending on your destination. You may need a vaccine passport for foreign travel.

Testing and self-isolation requirements still vary depending which country you are travelling to so check here, or your destination country’s government website when planning to go abroad.

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Lifestyle – The Courier Dundee