Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed easing of restrictions, which will allow residents in North Ayrshire to participate in collective worship.

The First Minister made this announced during the final Covid-19 Statement to Parliament, prior to a period of recess, for the Scottish Parliament Elections.

People living in all parts of Scotland will be able to attend places of worship in gatherings of up to 50, where there is space for physical distancing, from Friday 26 March.

Updated guidance, to be published on Friday, will also allow people to travel between Level 4 areas, to attend their usual place of worship following sustained progress suppressing Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Restrictions on non-essential travel across local authority boundaries remains in place for North Ayrshire and mainland Scotland.

The latest easing comes on the anniversary of Scotland first entering lockdown. The First Minister reflected on the loss of life over the past 12 months and thanked health and care workers, public service workers, teachers, local authorities, businesses, community groups and volunteers for their efforts to support the nation through the pandemic.

Commenting on the announcement Ruth Maguire MSP said:

“In the coming weeks, there are important religious festivals scheduled and I am sure this news will be welcome to my constituents.  However, as restrictions are eased, this can increase risk. I would encourage everyone to continue to carefully follow the FACTS and stay safe.”

COVID-19 updates will be less regular during the pre-election period, but the Scottish Government will still be monitoring the pandemic constantly and will make any necessary announcements.

The Scottish Government’s priority is to suppress the virus to the lowest possible level and keep it there, while we strive to return to a more normal life for as many people as possible. There are six main tools for achieving this:

  • the quickest practical roll-out of the vaccination programme
  • the most effective use of Test and Protect
  • applying proportionate protective measures (rules and guidance) to suppress transmission of the virus
  • effective measures to manage the risk of importation of the virus
  • supporting individuals, businesses and organisations to adhere to protective measures
  • providing care and support to mitigate the harms of the crisis

The six conditions for safe easing set out by the World Health Organisation are:

  • COVID-19 transmission is under control
  • sufficient health systems and public health capabilities are in place
  • outbreak risks are minimised in vulnerable settings
  • workplace preventative measures are established
  • risk of imported cases are managed
  • communities are fully engaged

The Scottish Government have set out their plan to restore, in a phased way, greater normality to our everyday lives.  Find out more about the Strategic Framework here:

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Strategic Framework update – February 2021 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): timetable for easing restrictions