Nicola Sturgeon Spoken To By Police After Face Mask Breach

Scotland’s first minister apologises and says "not wearing a face covering even for a few seconds was an error".
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon fist pumps Addison Mitchell, four, in Perth during local election campaigning. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon fist pumps Addison Mitchell, four, in Perth during local election campaigning. Picture date: Friday April 15, 2022.
Jane Barlow via PA Wire/PA Images

Nicola Sturgeon has been spoken to by police after footage showed her with no face mask on while campaigning – days before Scotland’s Covid laws were dropped.

Police Scotland have reminded Scotland’s first minister of the “importance of wearing a face covering when there is a legal requirement to do so”.

However, the force has confirmed no further action against Sturgeon is necessary.

A video posted on social media showed the first minister without a face covering during a visit to Iconic Gents Hair barber shop in East Kilbride on Saturday.

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

But at the weekend – when Sturgeon was on the campaign trail – it was still a legal requirement to wear a face covering.

The first minister has since apologised for the “error”, and said she immediately put her face covering on within seconds of realising.

She said: “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.”

In a statement, Police Scotland confirmed it will take no further action against the first minister.

It read: “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.”

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