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Face mask rules end in Scotland – a day after Sturgeon reported to police over breach

The legal requirement to wear face masks on public transport and most indoor public spaces in Scotland has ended.

It is Scotland’s final legal COVID requirement to be lifted – though the Scottish government is still recommending the use of face masks where appropriate.

The long-planned easing of rules comes a day after Scotland’s first minister was reported to police after appearing to breach the face mask rule while on the campaign trail.

Nicola Sturgeon was filmed not wearing a face covering as she greeted customers in a barber’s shop in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, on Saturday.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We can confirm that we have received a complaint which is currently being assessed.”

In response to the reports, an SNP spokesman said: “The first minister was invited into the barbers during an outdoor visit on the street.

“Within a few seconds, she realised she hadn’t put her mask back on and immediately put it on.”

Ms Sturgeon previously apologised in December 2020 after she breached COVID rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake, describing it as a “stupid mistake”.

Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP, Scottish Conservative health spokesman, said Saturday’s incident shows Ms Sturgeon “isn’t practising what she preaches on face masks”.

“She’s happy virtue signalling for official photos but behind closed doors, it’s clear she doesn’t believe in her own rules so why should anyone else,” she added.

From today, rules surrounding Scotland’s test and protect system have also changed.

People without symptoms are no longer being asked to take regular lateral flow tests, and free devices for twice-weekly routine testing will no longer be available for the general population.

Until the end of April, Scots with COVID symptoms are still required to isolate and get a PCR test.

But from April 30, test sites will close and people with symptoms will no longer be advised that they need to seek a test.