Nicola Sturgeon escapes fine for mask blunder: Scotland’s First Minister will avoid police action for breaking her own coronavirus rules
- Scotland’s First Minister has long preached of the importance of face coverings
- She was spotted talking to people without one at venue in Edinburgh last week
- Later told parliament at Holyrood that she was ‘kicking myself very hard’
- Police Scotland said they wouldn’t take further action and she will avoid a fine
Scotland’s First Minister said she was ‘kicking myself very hard’ after being photographed standing in a pub chatting to pensioners without a face mask.
In a statement to members of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood yesterday, she admitted she was in the wrong and stressed that the rules ‘apply to me as much as anyone else’.
When she made her daily reference to her government’s main public health message, which includes wearing face coverings, she said she did so ‘with an enormous dose of humility’.
Nicola Sturgeon will avoid police action despite having to issue a humiliating apology for breaking her own coronavirus rules
She added: ‘I want to be clear today that, regardless of the circumstances, I was in the wrong. There are no excuses. These rules do apply to me just as they do to everyone else, and the rules really matter.
‘I am kicking myself very hard, possibly harder than my worst critic ever could. But more importantly, I will be making sure that I do not drop my guard again.’
After Miss Sturgeon’s public apology, Police Scotland said in a statement: ‘We’re aware of a photograph of the First Minister… in which she was not wearing a face mask at a wake.
‘The First Minister has acknowledged this inadvertent breach, for which she has apologised.
In a statement to members of the Scottish parliament at Holyrood yesterday, she admitted she was in the wrong and stressed that the rules ‘apply to me as much as anyone else’
‘We remind everyone of the requirement to wear face coverings in indoor public places for public health reasons.’ It added: ‘Police Scotland will not be taking any further action in relation to this matter.’
Scottish government regulations mean customers and staff have to wear face coverings when entering, exiting or moving around hospitality premises.
Anyone failing to follow the rules can face an on-the-spot £60 fine, which rises to a maximum of £960 for repeat offenders.
The photograph of Miss Sturgeon chatting to three elderly women without a face covering was taken at the Stable Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh following the funeral of a senior civil servant in her government.
Miss Sturgeon was pictured without a mask while looking towards the table of pensioners. She had been wearing a tartan mask and is said to have removed it briefly as she left the venue.