Police have confirmed officers have spoken to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following a breach of Covid rules – but will take no further action.
The First Minister was reported after video footage emerged of the SNP leader without a mask indoors while on the election campaign trail.
Police have confirmed on social media that local officers have spoken to Ms Sturgeon and reminded her of the importance in wearing a face covering.
Facemasks are still legally required in Scotland. pic.twitter.com/9dxazpy3QI
— Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP (@jhalcrojohnston) April 16, 2022
No further action will be taken by police at this time.
The first minister has now apologised for breaching the rules – describing it as “inadvertent”.
Face masks were mandatory at the time
The video, which was uploaded to social media, showed the First Minister speaking with several people whilst indoors without a mask on.
While face masks are no longer a legal requirement in Scotland from April 18, the incident took place overt the weekend when face masks were still mandatory.
An SNP spokesman explained the incident saying: “The first minister was invited into the barber’s during an outdoor visit on the street.
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.
— Police Scotland (@PoliceScotland) April 18, 2022
“Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”
This is not the first time Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of ignoring mask rules. In December 2020, she apologized after she took off her mask during a funeral.
Opposition party members were quick to criticise Ms Sturgeon, with Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane, saying: “This is blatant hypocrisy from the first minister who has now shown her true colours.”
Nicola Sturgeon apology
After being spoken to by police, Ms Sturgeon apologised for breaching the Covid face mask rules.
The first minister explained to PA she had been outdoors before being invited inside the barber shop.
She said: “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.”
The First Minister added: “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.”