Yesterday the Scottish government published new guidance on wearing face coverings outlining that while evidence on their use is limited, there may be some benefits in wearing a facial covering when you leave the house and enter enclosed spaces, particularly when people risk coming into close contact with people outside.
Given this new guidance it is crucial we still follow social distancing. That means staying at home, maintaining physical distance (2 metres/ 6 feet), washing hands and good hygiene remain the most important and effective measures we can all adopt to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The wearing of facial coverings must not be considered an alternative to any of these most important precautions.
The Scottish Government has stressed that face covering do not mean surgical or other medical grade masks, instead a piece of fabric such as cloth or other textiles which cover the mouth and nose and are able to breathe through such as a scarf.
It is also important to note that you wash your hands first to avoid touching your face. After each use, you must wash the face covering at 60 degrees centigrade or dispose of safely. Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of two years and may not be appropriate for those with certain health conditions - for example asthma.
The Scottish Government now recommends that you consider using face coverings in the limited circumstances described above as a precautionary measure. The public use of facial coverings is not being made mandatory and will not be enforced at this stage. However, the Scottish Government will keep this guidance under ongoing review as it considers any easing of lockdown restrictions in the weeks ahead.
Christina McKelvie, SNP MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse said:
‘’This is welcoming news from the Scottish Government; however, people must remember that face coverings must not be considered as an alternative to any of the other important precautions and recommended advice.
The health and safety of the Scottish people is at the centre of all information and guidance issued by the Scottish Government and scientific advice.
Full Scottish Government guidance can be found through the following link: www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-use-of-face-coverings/ ‘’.