Ayrshire MSP Sharon Dowey has called out the SNP for ‘putting businesses at risk’ following the update that the mask mandate is due to be extended into April, but it isn’t a feeling that is entirely shared by businesses.
Mask wearing was due to be converted from law to guidance last Monday, but this has now been delayed until April.
Sharon Dowey is calling on the Scottish Government to urgently review its position, as the MSP believes this will have a negative effect on businesses.
Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP Sharon Dowey said: “We all want to make sure that we protect one another from COVID-19, but we need to think about the best way to do this. We know that vaccines are our best weapon against this virus, and considering their effectiveness, it’s time that the SNP drop the overly-restrictive mask mandate.
“With Nicola Sturgeon telling us just a few weeks ago that masks would no longer be legally required by next Monday, this news will create confusion for both businesses and consumers.
“This start-stop strategy has been at the heart of the SNP’s COVID-19 response, and it’s clear that Nicola Sturgeon has learnt nothing from her mistakes in using this strategy earlier in the pandemic.
“With Ayrshire businesses trying to get back on their feet after the pandemic, they’re now suffering yet another blow from this SNP government. We should be working hard to make consumers as confident as possible to enter local businesses, and yet all of this stopping and starting over face coverings is achieving exactly the opposite.”
Upon extending the face mask rules, the First Minister said: “The virus continues to present a medium threat.
“We consider it prudent to keep this for a further short period. It will provide some additional protection for the most vulnerable.”
Nicola Sturgeon said it will be reviewed in two weeks and she expects it to become guidance in early April.
The Cumnock Chronicle approached a number of business in the area about the extension of the face mask rules.
None of the businesses approached said the extended rules would severely affect their business.
The general consensus from these businesses was that they were happy to comply with rules for the time being, if that’s what’s needed to keep people safe amid rising case numbers.