As restrictions begin to ease and some Scots start to think about life post-coronavirus, many are asking if face masks could become permanent.
National Clinical Director Jason Leitch previously said he thought wearing face masks could become a more permanent fixture of daily life.
Speaking last month, Professor Leitch said: “I think we might get better as a country about not going to work when you’ve got symptoms.
“You know that ‘we’re just going to muscle on through when we’ve got the cold and then we’re going to spread that around and then everybody’s going to be off for a week’. I think we might get better at some of those things.
“I think we might keep face coverings when we’ve got the cold like they do in South East Asia. I don’t know.
“But the distancing will go. The distancing will go as soon as we can let it go, and that will depend on the virus, of course. It will depend on the vaccination. It will depend on future vaccination.”
In a poll for the New Scientist, a group of infectious diseases experts predicted it is likely mandatory face coverings would remain in place in the UK until at least 2022.
The idea was recently discussed on BBC radio, with listeners deeply divided between those who thought face masks should stick around in Scotland after the pandemic is over and those who can’t wait to bin them.
Some on the show, on Wednesday, pointed out daily mask-wearing was common in many Asian countries before the pandemic, partly for health reasons as well as because of pollution.
According to one report, masks became popular in parts of East Asia following the Sars outbreak in 2003.
Some experts have said this previous experience of infectious diseases – SARS killed 280 people in Hong Kong – led those countries to develop habits to stop diseases early.
Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London also suggested masks could become permanent in the UK because of long-lasting behavioural changes.
Echoing Jason Leitch, Professor Ferguson said in March: “We have got used to being careful, particularly if we’re slightly ill ourselves, about not wanting to infect other people, and so those sort of things may well happen here.”
Let us know what you think in our poll.