Nicola Sturgeon ‘spoken to’ by Police after face mask rule breach – statement in full

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Footage emerged of the SNP leader not wearing a mask inside a barber shop in East Kilbride over the Easter weekend. Police Scotland issued a statement on Twitter regarding the incident this afternoon.

It reads: “Local officers have spoken to the First Minister to remind her of the importance of wearing a face covering when there is a legal requirement to do so.

“Given the circumstances of this incident, Police Scotland is satisfied that no further action is necessary.

“This is in line with our proportionate approach throughout the pandemic.

Ms Sturgeon issued her own statement, reading: “On Saturday, while campaigning out outdoors in East Kilbride I was invited into a local barber shop. After a few seconds of being in the shop, I realised I had forgotten to put my face covering back on. I then immediately put it on.

“However, I accept that not wearing a face covering even for a few seconds was an error on my part and I am sorry for that.

“Having received complaints about the matter, Police Scotland made contact with me.

“This is what they would have done with anyone else in these circumstances, and they were absolutely right to treat me no differently to any other citizen.

“I explained that the error was inadvertent and the police have confirmed that the matter is closed.

“While the law no longer requires face coverings to be worn, I will continue to do so in circumstances where this can help reduce the risk of infection, and I encourage everyone to do likewise.”

The Scottish Conservatives’ health spokesperson, Dr Sandesh Gulhane, said the incident showed that Sturgeon was a hypocrite.

Dr Guhlane said: “The video clearly shows Nicola Sturgeon isn’t practising what she preaches on face masks. She’s happy virtue signalling for official photos but behind closed doors it’s clear she doesn’t believe in her own rules, so why should anyone else?”

This is the second time Ms Sturgeon has come under fire for breaching face mask rules.

Sturgeon apologised in December 2020 when she breached coronavirus law by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake, describing it as a “stupid mistake”.

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As of Monday, Scotland’s requirement to wear face masks in public spaces, including shops, hairdressers and public transport moves into guidance, in line with England and Wales.

But the Scottish Government has urged Scots to keep wearing masks as coronavirus continues to spread.

She said ahead of the rules easing: “I’m not saying every single person will (continue to wear masks), people will make their own decisions.

“But I think, just as the vast majority of people have abided by all that we’ve asked of them over the last two years – not because politicians have been asking or the law necessarily has required it – because people understand that the best way to protect themselves and protect those they love is to abide by these really sensible, basic precautions against the spread of a virus.

“We can’t keep things in law beyond a point where that is deemed to be proportionate, so we will move the face covering requirement out of law and into guidance.”

“Wearing a face covering is a bit of protection you can give, not only to yourself but to the people you might be around – including people who might be more clinically vulnerable.”

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