SCOTS have been warned over “dropping their guards” by not wearing a face covering when entering shops that have re-opened today – with the Scottish Government set to decide this week whether the items will become mandatory.

Nicola Sturgeon said she has not been concerned by pictures on social media today of people queuing outside shops, so long as social distancing is being followed. But the First Minister warned she has been alarmed about the lack of people wearing face coverings.

When shops re-opened south of the border, Scottish Government officials including national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, were concerned over scenes that were compared to a rush for Boxing Day sales.

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Ms Sturgeon said: “I’ve not seen anything on social media that would give me the kind of concern that I felt on behalf of the UK Government when I looked at some of the pictures in London of people crowding together without physical distancing. I’ve seen queues of people waiting to get into a particular shop or shops but it looked to be reasonably physically distanced.

“I will be concerned if I see pictures of people going shopping and not following the advice. If I did have a concern about some of the pictures I saw this morning, it’s that there weren’t enough people wearing face coverings. I will be concerned if I see pictures that show people are not respecting physical distancing or if the shops are allowing too many people in.”

The First Minister denied any suggestion that lots of people are not wearing face coverings because the Scottish Government advice to do so did not come in until several weeks into lockdown.

She said: “I think the issue on face coverings is that it’s not something people are used to doing unless you work in the health service of certain other sectors.

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“Wearing something over your nose and mouth is not something that many of us are used to doing and as I’ve found out myself on occasion in the last wee while, it’s not the most comfortable thing. That is probably what is leading some people still to choose not to do so.”

She added: “You do get used to it. Something that feels at first as it you’d never get used to it, you’d be surprised at home quickly it feels less intrusive and a bit more normal.

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“I have quite an intense sense of anxiety about what the next few weeks hold as well. I do have a worry about people dropping their guards as things start to open up, I do have a worry about infection levels not so much in Scotland but in other parts of the UK being a bit higher than we would want them to be – and I have a serious worry about what we’re starting to see in other parts of the world that illustrates and demonstrates that this virus is still there.”