Nicola Sturgeon has said there are “no excuses” for her breach of Covid rules after she removed her mask at a funeral.
Scotland’s prime minister was photographed standing without covering her face while speaking to three members of the public while attending the event at a bar and restaurant in Edinburgh last Friday.
The regulations state that customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering except when sitting, including when entering, leaving or moving around, and any failure to comply is punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £ 60.
Apologizing before the prime minister’s final question session for 2020, Sturgeon said: “I removed my mask while briefly attending a funeral last week. I’m sure everyone has seen a photo of me without him in the media this morning. I want to make it clear today that regardless of the circumstances, I was wrong. There are no excuses. These rules apply to me, just like everyone else, and the rules really matter. “
Sturgeon told MSPs: “I’m kicking myself really hard, possibly harder than my worst critic could ever do. But more importantly, I’ll make sure not to let my guard down again. “
The response to Sturgeon’s infraction has been silent and in some cases comprehensive, while opposition leaders did not raise the issue again during the Holyrood session.
Ged Killen, former Labor MP from Margaret Ferrier’s constituency in Rutherglen, tweeted: “I doubt that many people have followed the rules more closely than Nicola Sturgeon. I am much less upset about this than about the fact that Margaret Ferrier is still a member of the SNP. Every day that she is a deputy is an insult to the people she is supposed to represent ”.
Last month, The Guardian reported that Ferrier voters were frustrated by her MP’s continued refusal to resign after she traveled by train from London to Scotland following a positive Covid test result.
Stephen Reicher, a professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews, who has advised the Scottish and UK governments on compliance with coronavirus guidelines, said he did not believe that Sturgeon’s mistake would have an impact on public behavior. .
“The literature on ‘scandals’ suggests that very often it is not the original act that is the problem but the subsequent reaction: [Dominic] Cummings justifying her actions, Kay Burley making up stories. On this, Sturgeon has immediately opened up and admitted the mistake. She has not tried to diminish it. “
Earlier on Wednesday, Scotland’s National Clinical Director, Jason Leitch, told BBC Radio Scotland that Sturgeon’s mask had been removed because she was leaving the scene, and that she was later called in but not put on again.
He described her as “absolutely mad at this little lapse of concentration.”
Leitch said: “I was leaving the funeral of a colleague of ours, a wonderful and wonderful person who did a great deal of work during the pandemic. It was a very sad day for many of us in the government who knew him and his family well. It just reinforces the nature of these instructions and this virus again for all of us. “
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