South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has commented on the First Minister’s latest Covid-19 statement. Nicola Sturgeon updated MSPs during a session of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday.

The First Minister announced that working from home guidance is set to be eased in favour of hybrid working as from Monday. Meanwhile, the requirement for 2m physical distancing in some indoor settings like churches is to be relaxed, while the rules for schools are being “kept under close and regular review”.

Colin Smyth said: “After the stress and worry that the omicron variant brought over the past couple of months, it will be a relief for many people that restrictions continue to be eased.

“While working from home will continue to play a vital role in future, many high street shops and cafes will welcome the return of workers to offices, even part of the time.

“Retail and hospitality in our towns have really suffered from the many lockdowns and restrictions over the past couple of years and this has had a knock on effect on our high streets.

“Reversing this will take a long time and require more government support.

“I hope we will also see some clarity on the government’s position regarding face coverings in schools. The number of cases in schools remains too high but need longer terms measures such as investment in ventilation.

“While omicron cases appear to be levelling off, the huge numbers we saw in recent months across the south of Scotland continue to put the NHS, other public services and businesses under huge pressure.

“Once again, I would urge everyone to get vaccinated, take regular lateral flow tests, wear a face covering when in shops and on public transport and use common sense when mixing.”


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