Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was seen during her SNP local election campaigning on Saturday, April 17, visiting a barbershop in East Kilbride and speaking to residents without a face covering. In a statement, Ms Sturgeon said she “immediately” put her face covering on when she realised she had forgotten “within seconds” of entering the shop.
She added: “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.”
The legal requirement to wear a face covering in crowded indoor places like shops and restaurants and on public transport in Scotland was lifted on Monday, April 18.
In a poll that ran from 10am on Tuesday, April 19, to 11am on Wednesday, April 20, Express.co.uk asked: “Do you think Nicola Sturgeon should be ned for breaching Covid rules?”
In total, 5,434 people voted with hundreds of hundreds of comments left below the accompanying article.
The dominant answer was “yes” Ms Sturgeon should be fined, winning by a landslide of 97 percent (5,261 people) of votes cast.
Just three percent (166 people) said “no” and seven people said they did not know.
Scotland Police contacted Ms Sturgeon following the incident and reminded her of the importance of wearing a face covering when legally required.
The force said it was satisfied that no further action was necessary, saying their response was “in line with our proportionate approach throughout the pandemic”.
Ms Sturgeon said: “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.”
One user, Prisoner5, said: “Since Johnson was fined for his breaches, why should Sturgeon be treated any differently.”
Username Leytonman wrote: “Boris got fined so I can’t see why Sturgeon shouldn’t be.”
And username DanSolo said: “She should be subject to the same rules and laws we all are, same goes for Boris. Fine her and move on.”
While username BobPage said: “I don’t think she should be fined but the precedent has been set now.”
Ms Sturgeon was critical of Mr Johnson when he received his fine, and tweeted: “Boris Johnson must resign. He broke the law and repeatedly lied to parliament about it.
“The basic values of integrity and decency – essential to the proper working of any parliamentary democracy – demand that he go.
“And he should take his out of touch Chancellor with him.”
Username DavefromDerby commented: “RESIGN. She demanded that Boris resign yet has not offered to do so herself for exactly the same ‘offence’.”
However, Username serPounce said: “The police investigated, accepted her excuse, and had words. She was hardly having a party in the Downing Street offices.”