Thu 2 Jul, 2020

I urge people to take the rules on physical distancing and face coverings seriously – they are vital ways we can keep each other safe as we start get out more Alison Johnstone

The First Minister’s cautious approach to easing lockdown has been welcomed by the Scottish Greens.

Among today’s announcements was the move to making face coverings mandatory in shops, which Scottish Green health spokesperson Alison Johnstone called for on Monday.

There will also be a relaxation of the two-metre distancing rule for some hospitality businesses.

Responding, Alison Johnstone said: “I welcome this cautious approach from the First Minister. The evidence shows that two metres is safer than one metre and that face coverings help limit the spread of the virus. Maintaining the five-mile limit where there is a new outbreak is also the right thing to do.

“I urge people to take the rules on physical distancing and face coverings seriously – they are vital ways we can keep each other safe as we start get out more.”

Commenting on the plans to relax two-metre physical distancing rules for certain sectors, Patrick Harvie MSP, who is campaigning to protect thousands of at-risk hospitality workers, said:

“The proportionate measures announced today will be welcomed by hospitality businesses, many of whom faced real difficulties without this change. It’s also essential that workers will have a role in devising vital public health guidance.

“However, it’s also clear that it will be a long time before hospitality businesses can operate anywhere near their previous capacity, so the UK Government must also protect jobs by extending its job retention scheme for hospitality workers.

"People will come back to pubs, bars and restaurants when it’s safe, so there’s no case for simply writing-off huge swathes of the workforce, many of whom are young people already bearing some of the worst economic impacts of this crisis.”

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