Britons’ fury over masks extended past ‘Freedom Day’ deadline – ‘absolutely obscene’

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Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed on Tuesday that the nation’s so-called “Freedom Day” is expected on August 9. Major social distancing measures will no longer apply after this date, but Scottish residents will still have to wear face coverings in supermarkets and on public transport.

Until “Freedom Day”, all shops in Scotland will still have to comply with social distancing measures.

But, on July 19, the rule will change from two metres to one metre.

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Outdoor social distancing will also be scrapped.

Provided there are no major last-minute setbacks, “all major Covid restrictions” – except face coverings – will then be lifted from August 9, said Ms Sturgeon.

Ewan MacDonald-Russell, Head of Policy at Scottish Retail Consortium, said the industry could “look forward to returning to something closer to normality”.

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But he added: “However, even if this timetable is met that will not be an end to restrictions on retailers.

“Shop workers and shoppers will still have to wear face coverings and maintain one-metre distancing, for a period it seems, and it’s likely it will be some time before we return to pre-pandemic trading.

“In that context, Scottish ministers will need to keep in mind how they can continue to support the industry in the coming months; and be thinking creatively about what more they can do to entice and stimulate shoppers back, especially to our city centres.”

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After Ms Sturgeon’s announcement this week, many Scots expressed their fury over the extended coronavirus restrictions online.

One person wrote on Twitter: “Absolutely obscene – especially masks. Why are people putting up with this? They know masks make no positive difference but do so much harm. Most states in America have dropped the mask mandate. Look at Sweden. Masks shouldn’t be mandated anywhere.”

Another Scottish national said: “The English have their ‘Freedom Day’, albeit delayed. In Scotland, we have a delayed move to Level 0 which still has restrictions! When do we actually get normal back? Why aren’t questions being asked about this?”

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One person raged: “Am I missing something? Are the hospitals not empty? Is the NHS not saved and the over 60s all jabbed? So what’s the problem now?”

Another person added: “Nope, no, no more. I’m done as are pretty much everyone I know. Good luck trying to police mass disobedience.”

However, others seemed happy with the way the Scottish first minister is dealing with the easing of restrictions.

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One person wrote on Twitter: “I believe this is the first suggestion that even Level 0 will be dropped, which is progress.”

Another person said: “Scotland doing it how it should be done.”

One satisfied person commented: “Well done Scotland. Now come on Boris, follow suit and we can get back to normality in 2022.”

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