Scotland becomes first part of UK to make face coverings mandatory in shops

10 July 2020, 11:27

Face coverings to be mandatory for shoppers in Scotland

By Bekki Clark

Scotland has become the first part of the UK to make face coverings mandatory in shops - a week after the policy was announced.

Nicola Sturgeon said she is hopeful people will comply with the new rules and enforcement won't be needed.

The First Minister says they should be regarded as being as necessary as seatbelts in cars.

Fixed penalty notices starting at £60 can be issued by police to anyone refusing to cover their face.

Assistant Chief Constable Gary Ritchie said: "The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, wearing a Tartan face mask during a visit to New Look
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, wearing a Tartan face mask during a visit to New Look. Picture: PA

"Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance.

“We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.

"A number of exemptions exist that mean certain people are not required to wear a face covering in a shop.

"We would encourage people to raise any concerns with business owners or staff in the first instance."

The two-metre physical distancing rule can now be relaxed in shops and on public transport, if further mitigation measures are in place.

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The subway system in Glasgow is one of the first to take advantage of the change.

Groups of up to 15 people from a maximum of five households are allowed to meet up outside from today, and for the first time since lockdown up to eight people from three different households can gather together indoors.

Couples who don't live together can also hug or stay together overnight, regardless of their living situations.