SHOPPERS in the Cowdenbeath-Lochgelly area should remember that from Saturday (July 10), they must wear a face covering when in whatever premises they may be.

First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced on Thursday, that this would be part of Stage 3 of the Route Map out of lockdown.

The First Minister had been hesitant to decide on physical distancing until her advisors had weighed up the science guiding the move to one metre, but it has been decided that this was the next stage forward.

Nicola Sturgeon said: “Face coverings in shops will be compulsory from the end of next week but please don’t wait until then, get into the habit now".

Speaking during the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Ms Sturgeon said as people start to interact more it is “vital we take steps to reduce risks”.

On social distancing measures, she said sticking to the two-metre rule has “serious economic implications”.

From the end of next week, exceptions would be allowed for specific sectors to operate within a one-metre distance with mitigation measures.

These sectors include hospitality, retail and public transport.

But the general rule in law will be that businesses must take reasonable measures to ensure two-metre distancing is maintained, she said.

During her daily briefing Ms Sturgeon confirmed that the two-metre rule will remain the benchmark for the general public, but from Phase 3, some sectors will be allowed to reduce the restrictions.

The First Minister revealed that the two-metre rule will be dropped in certain sectors from Phase 3 - which is set to be July 10.

Where will these changes take place? The Scottish Government has detailed out a list of categories that could implement the changes, and the mitigations they will need to consider.

Shopping, eating and drinking out: These areas could reduce to one metre with the following mitigations: One-way systems, staggering arrival and start times of staff, contactless payments, signage and tannoy announcements, hand sanitisation facilities, mandatory face coverings, screens to create a physical barrier between people - for example at till points, supply of hand sanitiser for employees and increased ventilation.

Hospitality: These areas could cut to one metre with the following mitigation: No standing - all customers are seated, face coverings by staff, clear systems for safe orderings and payments, clear systems for use of toilets, use of screens between seating areas, good ventilation, good signage, reduced noise measures so customers do not need to shout, the need to provide contact details for Test and Protect.

Public transport: This can also reduce to one-metres with the following mitigations: Back-to-back or face-to-back seating, enhanced ventilation, perspex screens, and mounted hand sanitisers.

What else was announced? From July 3, children under 12 will no longer need to physically distance when meeting other children or adults outdoors.

The number of overall household contacts in one day remains the same as before. Adults will need to remain physically distancing.

For young people aged 12-17, there will be no limit to the number of groups you can meet each day (provided they are in line with contact guidance). These groups, however, must be in groups no more than eight total.

Nicola Sturgeon said she hoped to announce more changes next week on how “households can meet, interact and play”. She also hopes she can confirm organised contact sports for children can resume from July 13.

The First Minister continued: “I also hope to give more clarity next week about when places of worship might be able to re-open for communal prayer and congregational services.”

She added: “It is only because so many of us have stuck to the rules so far that we are able to take these steps out of lockdown.

“And only if we continue to stick to the rules will we be able to drive the virus down further and live less restricted lives in the weeks and months ahead.

“For more businesses to reopen, for public services to get back to normal, for more of us to be able to meet indoors, for our children to go back to school full time from August, all of these collective benefits depend on the decisions we make as individuals now and in the days and weeks to come.”