Now Sturgeon scraps Scotland's working from home rules from MONDAY

Now Scotland scraps working from home rules: Nicola Sturgeon follows Boris Johnson’s lead in England and announces plan for ‘phased’ return to the office from MONDAY

  • She told MSPs the Scottish Government is updating its guidance from Monday
  • Mr Johnson scrapped same rules in England last week with immediate effect
  • 2m physical distancing in settings where facemasks are exempt reduced to  1m 

Nicola Sturgeon bowed to pressure to axe working from home rules today as she revealed a ‘phased’ return tot he office for millions of Scots. 

She told MSPs the Scottish Government is updating its guidance to take effect from next Monday. 

Mr Johnson scrapped the same rules in England last week with immediate effect. 

Ms Sturgeon has said a requirement for two-metre physical distancing in settings where face coverings are exempt is being reduced to one metre.

The change will apply to settings such as religious services and those carrying out receptionist duties.

Updating MSPs, the First Minister also announced a change affecting organised activities for children.

She said: ‘From Friday, face coverings will no longer be required for any adult taking part in organised activities when they are directly interacting with children under the age of five.’

The requirement for secondary school pupils to wear face masks will receive ‘careful consideration’.

Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross said: ‘While some people will still want to work from home, why doesn’t the First Minister leave that decision up to employers and workers?

‘And what does she think this means for the many businesses who rely on workers being in the office and back in our town and city centres?’

She told MSPs the the Scottish Government is updating its guidance to take effect from next Monday.

Mr Johnson scrapped the same rules in England last week with immediate effect.

This graph shows the cumulative Covid death rate for the four UK nations based on data from the Office for National Statistics, which counts every death certificate that mentions Covid. It reveals that despite its tough curbs Wales has the highest Covid death rate 

Decisions by Scotland and Wales to rely on tougher Covid restrictions throughout the pandemic may not have been ‘worth it’, scientists said today. 

As well as today’s announcement, Welsh leader Mark Drakeford is refusing to lift the highly-controversial ‘rule of six’ for another four days.

Both nations resorted to tougher Covid curbs than England early out in the pandemic, and kept people living under economically-cripping curbs for longer.

But experts told MailOnline they could not see a ‘huge amount of difference’ in the cumulative death rates between England and the rest of the UK. 

And they argued Omicron waves panned out similarly across the home nations, even though Downing St slipped through on relatively few rules. 

This is despite Scotland cancelling New Year’s Eve celebrations and Mr Drakeford accusing England of being a ‘global outlier’ for Boris Johnson’s gamble to adopt no extra measures. Ms Sturgeon said yesterday Scotland’s tougher festive curbs were ‘worth it’, arguing they kept infection rates below levels south of the border. 

Scotland has recorded 23 coronavirus-linked deaths and 8,022 new cases in the past 24 hours, according to latest figures.

It means the death toll under this measurement, of people who tested positive for the virus in the previous 28 days, is 10,222.

There were 1,392 people in hospital on Monday with recently confirmed Covid-19, down 43 on the previous day, with 34 in intensive care, down four.

In addition, on Monday, 15 confirmed Covid-19 patients had been in intensive care longer than 28 days.

So far 4,406,999 people have received their first dose of a Covid-19 vaccination, 4,112,264 have received their second dose, and 3,263,981 have received a third dose or booster, Scottish Government figures published on Tuesday showed.

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