Nicola Sturgeon said “there are no excuses” for her violation of Covid’s rules after she removed the face mask at a wake.
The Scottish 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 guests in hospitality facilities must wear a facial cover, except when seated, including when entering, leaving or moving, and any violation is punishable by a fixed £ 60 fine.
Apologizing before the Prime Minister’s final questioning session for 2020, Sturgeon said: “I took off my mask while attending a funeral last week. I’m sure everyone will have seen a picture of me in the media this morning without him. 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 as they apply to everyone else, and the rules really matter. “
Sturgeon told the MSPs: “I am kicking myself a lot, possibly with more force than my worst critic ever could. But most importantly, I will make sure I don’t let my guard down again. “
The response to Sturgeon’s infraction was muted and, in some cases, sympathetic, while the issue was not raised again by opposition leaders during the Holyrood session.
Ged Killen, former Labor MP for Margaret Ferrier’s Rutherglen constituency, tweeted: “I doubt that many people followed the rules more closely than Nicola Sturgeon. I am much less upset about this than that Margaret Ferrier remains a member of the SNP. Every day that she is a parliamentarian is an insult to the people she should represent. “
Last month, the Guardian reported that Ferrier’s constituents were frustrated by his MP’s continued refusal to resign after she traveled by train from London to Scotland after a positive Covid test result.
Stephen Reicher, professor of social psychology at the University of St Andrews, who advised the Scottish and UK governments on compliance with the coronavirus guidelines, said he did not believe that Sturgeon’s mistake would impact public behavior.
“The literature on ‘scandals’ suggests that it is often not the original act that is the problem, but the subsequent reaction: [Dominic] Cummings justifying his actions, Kay Burley making up stories. About this, Sturgeon immediately confessed and admitted the error. She didn’t try to diminish it. “
Earlier on Wednesday, Scotland’s national clinical director Jason Leitch told BBC Radio Scotland that Sturgeon’s mask was out because she was leaving the site, and that she was called back, but did not put it back on. .
He described it as “absolutely furious with that small lapse in concentration”.
Leitch said: “She was leaving the funeral of a colleague of ours – a wonderful, wonderful individual who worked very hard during the pandemic. It was a terribly sad day for many of us in the government who knew him and his family well. This only reinforces for all of us the nature of these instructions and this virus. “