Nicola Sturgeon facing calls to RESIGN if handed a police fine for breaching Covid mask rules on election visit to barbers – after demanding that Boris Johnson do the same over Partygate law-breaking
The SNP leader is being investigated by Police Scotland after being seen without a face mask during an SNP local election campaign visit to a barber shop on Saturday.
While England dropped its mask mandate weeks ago, Scotland only removed the law requiring face coverings today. If found to have broken the law, Miss Sturgeon would face a £60 fixed penalty notice.
Ms Sturgeon has been vocal this week in demanding that Boris Johnson quit after being handed a £50 fine for breaking his own Covid laws. And today Ms Sturgeon was facing similar demands.
Tory MSP Stephen Kerr said: ‘Sturgeon walked into a barbers without a mask, breaking the rules she’s spent two years intoning at us from behind her podium.
‘How’s that ”Send Boris a message” gaan?
And former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne tweeted: ‘Nicola Sturgeon is a very honourable lady and will do the right thing and show by example by resigning first thing tomorrow morning.’
There was more controversy today after Scotland’s chief medical officer appeared to defend the First Minister, despite being a civil servant who is supposed to be impartial.
Professor Jason Leitch told Good Morning Scotland: ‘My understanding is it was a matter of seconds. She realises the place is crowded, puts her face covering on. Which is actually what we’re asking people to do.
‘The guidance is if you are in a crowded area inadvertently or deliberately, then put a face covering on and that will protect you and others.’
Now you see it: Nicola Sturgeon seen wearing a mask in the barber shop in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, op Saterdag. The legal requirement to wear a face mask in indoor settings in Scotland moves into guidance today
Now you don’t! Ms Sturgeon without the covering as she poses for a picture with another customer
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been reported to the police after being seen not wearing a mask during a visit to a barbers in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, op Saterdag
Former Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne tweeted: ‘Nicola Sturgeon is a very honourable lady and will do the right thing and show by example by resigning first thing tomorrow morning.’
There was more controversy today after Scotland’s chief medical officer Jason Leitch appeared to defend the First Minister, despite being a civil servant who is supposed to be impartial
Scottish Conservative MSP Craig Hoy said it was inappropriate for a civil servant to defend the First Minister’s actions.
Hy het gesê: ‘These kinds of questions should be left to politicians to answer. In plaas daarvan, SNP ministers are in hiding and Jason Leitch is blurring the lines between ministers and government officials.
‘Mr Leitch is also misrepresenting the Covid laws as they stood when Nicola Sturgeon clearly broke them at the weekend.
‘Face mask use was still in law until today but Mr Leitch backed up Nicola Sturgeon’s excuse that she only had to put the mask on when in a crowded space.
‘If the SNP had listened to us weeks ago and changed face mask rules from law to guidance, he and Nicola Sturgeon would have been correct.
‘But they failed to do this and Mr Leitch should not be confusing the public, or doing the SNP’s job for them, by trying to defend Nicola Sturgeon in this manner.’
A video posted on social media appeared to show her not wearing a mask during a visit to a barber’s in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, op Saterdag.
Police Scotland confirmed it had received a complaint and said it was being assessed.
The SNP said the First Minister was invited into the barbers during an outdoor visit on the street.
A party spokesman said: ‘Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.’
Ms Sturgeon has previously said she is confident most people will continue to wear masks after the rules ease.
People no longer have to wear face masks on public transport or in most indoor public spaces in Scotland from today.
The Scottish Government is still strongly recommending people continue to don them where appropriate as Covid-19 bly versprei.
Meanwhile people without symptoms of the virus are no longer being asked to take regular lateral flow tests as of April 18 as part of changes to the test and protect system.
Free lateral flow devices (LFDs) for twice weekly routine testing are no longer available for the general population.
However the tests will continue to be free for any purpose for which testing continues to be advised – for clinical care, health and social care workers and for people visiting vulnerable individuals in care homes or hospitals.
A spokesperson for the SNP said the First Minister, pictured here during local election campaigning at Dundee Law on Friday, ‘immediately put it on’ upon realising she wasn’t wearing her mask
Speaking on Saturday, sy het gese: ‘I’m not saying every single person will (continue to wear masks), people will make their own decisions.
'Maar ek dink, 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.’
The First Minister said Covid-19 was ‘still out there’, toevoeging: ‘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.’
A weekly Covid-19 survey produced by the Office for National Statistics found that around one in every 17 people in Scotland had Covid-19 in the week up to April 9, a drop on recent weeks.
Until the end of April, people with symptoms should still isolate and get a PCR test.
From April 30, test sites will close and people with symptoms will no longer be advised that they need to seek a test.
The public health advice for people who feel unwell will be to stay at home until they feel better, to reduce the risk of infecting other people.