NICOLA Sturgeon is confident that the public will cover their faces in shops as it becomes legally required today – with her second in command calling for a “culture of personal responsibility”.

Shoppers are now required by law to wear a face covering, following the rules rolled out last month on public transport.

Police have responsibility of enforcement of the new law – with Scotrail taking a hands-off approach to the public transport rules, calling on travellers to “take personal responsibility for their own actions”.

Speaking on BBC Breakfast, the First Minister was asked why face coverings have become mandatory in shops more than four months after the start of the Covid-19 crisis.

She said: "It's an enclosed space, it can be somewhere that it is difficult to keep a safe physical distance, and so - similar to public transport, which has been mandatory now for some time - our judgment is that it should be the law that people wear face coverings.

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"We know that there is increasing evidence that wearing a face covering can play a part in stopping the transmission of the virus.”

Ms Sturgeon added: "I think it's important to say it's not something that gives you your immunity from the virus. It's not a substitute for all the other measures like washing your hands properly and safe physical distancing, but it can add a layer of protection.

"As we start interacting with each other much more now, it's important that we do all of the things that just reduce the ability of this highly infectious virus to spread.

"So I hope everybody across Scotland today complies with the law. On public transport, trains, buses, ferries and now in shops, it is compulsory to wear a face covering."

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said he believes Scots' compliance with wearing face coverings is "gradually" improving.

He told BBC Good Morning Scotland: "As they embark on coming out into more active participation in society again, I think people understand the importance of taking these preventative measures that will protect themselves and protect other members of society."

On the issue of enforcement, Ms Swinney stressed that while police have responsibility for that, he does not believe officers in shops would be a "productive and sensible use of police time".

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He added: "We want to make sure that we encourage a culture of personal responsibility.

"We've had, throughout coronavirus, an astonishing level of compliance from members of the public, voluntary compliance to support our efforts, and as a consequence we've made more rapid progress in tackling coronavirus than any of us envisaged was possible."