NICOLA Sturgeon has been reported to the police for appearing to flout her own Covid rules on wearing a face covering.

The First Minister was previously forced to apologise for breaking mask rules in 2020, and said she would never do so again.

“These rules do apply to me, just as they do to everyone else, and the rules really matter,” she said at the time. “I'll be making sure I don't drop my guard again.”

However she has been accused of committing the same rule breach in a barber shop while campaigning in the local elections on Saturday.

The Scottish Tories accused her of “blatant hypocrisy”.

The SNP said Ms Sturgeon had not worn a mask for "a few seconds" before realising and "immediately" fixing her mistake.

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

The SNP leader posted a video of herself wearing her usual tartan face mask while shaving off a man’s beard in Iconic Gents Hair in East Kilbride.

However other footage later emerged of her joking and pretending to cut someone’s hair in the same small space without a mask before her official video was shot.

Some of the staff and customers were also unmasked in the clips.

A breach of the face covering rules can result in a £60 fine.

After the six second clip was posted on Twitter, one of Ms Sturgeon’s controversial online critics, Jane Lax, a former Tory party treasurer in Moray, complained to Police Scotland.

She posted a screengrab of her complaint form and hinted the FM should be investigated as the Prime Minister was for breaking lockdown rules in Downing Street.

She wrote: "I would like to report Nicola Sturgeon for breaching the current Covid rules.

“I feel that as Boris Johnson was held to account, the same standards of police investigation should be applied to the First Minister”. 

Until tomorrow, when the rules change, face coverings are still legally required in Scotland in hairdressers.

Scottish Government guidance states that “by law, everyone aged over 12 and over must wear a face covering, unless exempt, in most indoor spaces, including…hair salons, beauty and nail parlours, tattoo studios and any other indoor close contact service setting”.

Even after the law is relaxed, the guidance will be to continue wearing a mask in indoor spaces and on public transport

SNP health secretary Humza Yousaf today said that the "very strong guidance" would be to keep wearing a mask in such places. 

In December 2020, Mrs Sturgeon apologised to MSPs for taking off a face mask at a wake.

She said she had “briefly” removed in it a “stupid mistake”.

She said: "I want to be clear that regardless of the circumstances, I was in the wrong. There are no excuses.

"These rules do apply to me, just as they do to everyone else, and the rules really matter.

"I am kicking myself very hard - possibly harder than my worst critic ever could - but more importantly I'll be making sure I don't drop my guard again."

Scottish Conservative Shadow Health Secretary Dr Sandesh Gulhane MSP said: “The video clearly shows Nicola Sturgeon isn’t practising what she preaches on facemasks.

 “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.

“This is blatant hypocrisy from the First Minister who has now shown her true colours.

“The public, who have been under these legal Covid restrictions for over two years, deserve an apology for this rule break.”

Chris McEleny, general secretary of Alex Salmond’s Alba Party, added: “This highlights that compliance is now completely out of the window and any notion that once Scotland fully aligns itself to Boris Johnson’s Covid surrender strategy on Monday it is highly doubtful we will see a high proportion of the public continue to wear face masks

“With this gamble we will just need to hope that future variants don’t pop up that vaccinations don’t protect us from.”

Ms Sturgeon and other SNP figures have regularly called for Boris Johnson to quit for breaking Covid laws during lockdown by attending parties in Downing Street.

Mr Johnson, his wife Carrie and Chancellor Rishi Sunak were all fined last week.

An SNP spokesperson 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."