Fact Check-Scottish Government did not deem wearing masks ‘harmful’

Social media posts and a blog article circulating online baselessly claim the Scottish Government indicated that the wearing of face coverings is harmful. The government made no such acknowledgement but relaxed guidance on mask-wearing after a decline in COVID-19 infections and severity.

In posts shared to Twitter and Facebook here, here and here, an online blog claims that the Scottish Government has “finally accepted that mask-wearing is harmful following a campaign that led to the end of the mask recommendation in care homes.”

The posts have been shared thousands of times.

However, a Scottish Government spokesperson told Reuters: “This is a gross distortion of what the Scottish Government has said.

“We are clear that facemasks have been and remain a crucial preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19.”

The blog article references updated guidance on mask-wearing from the Scottish Government here .

It goes on to state without evidence that the government “clearly identified harms” around face coverings.

The government removed the recommendation for social care staff and visitors to consistently wear face masks, however did not state that masks were harmful here .

The update says its guidance was “relaxed in line with latest clinical advice” after a “sharp drop in coronavirus infections and a reduction in severity of illness”.


False. The Scottish Government relaxed guidance on mask-wearing in social care settings after a decline in COVID-19 cases and severity. It did not say masks were harmful.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here .