Scotland’s leader apologizes for breaking coronavirus restrictions

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon apologized on Wednesday for defying coronavirus restrictions in her country by removing her face mask during a wake.

Sturgeon was photographed talking with three other women at a distance without a mask on when she attended a funeral wake for a civil servant Friday. The photo was then published in a local paper, the Scottish Sun, and received backlash from the Scottish community, according to ABC News.

Sturgeon said that the moment was a “stupid mistake” and apologized to those she offended.

“I talk every day about the importance of masks, so I’m not going to offer any excuses,” she said. “I was in the wrong, I’m kicking myself, and I’m sorry.”

She also stated that her mask was only removed briefly.

Scotland has implemented five different protection levels to combat the surge in coronavirus cases in the nation, with the strictest levels limiting travel and socializing and placing curfews on certain businesses. At all levels, the Scottish government asks that people follow public health recommendations, including wearing face masks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also tightened mask-wearing guidelines earlier this month, suggesting that in areas where the virus continues to spread people should wear masks at all times if they are in public. WHO stated that people should also wear masks at home when they entertain visitors if they cannot maintain physical distance between them.

The nation has reported a total of 1,190 new coronavirus cases and 47 new coronavirus related deaths as of Dec. 23.

Tags COVID facemasks National responses to the COVID-19 pandemic Nicola Sturgeon Scotland

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