First fine for shopper refusing to wear face mask

Police issued a £60 penalty to a man at a supermarket in Jedburgh last week.

First fine for shopper refusing to wear face mask Pixabay

A shopper has been fined for refusing to wear a face mask for the first time in Scotland.

Police spoke to the man at a supermarket in Jedburgh, Scottish Borders, last Thursday, but he refused to comply with the guidelines and was issued with the £60 penalty.

The shopper is the only person who has been fined since the new rules came into force on Friday, July 10.

Face coverings were already made mandatory on public transport.

Children under five and those with certain medical conditions or disabilities are exempt.

The Scottish Government said the face coverings “may provide some level of protection”, but stated that physical distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene are the “most important and effective things we can all do to prevent the spread of coronavirus”.

The face coverings do not need to be surgical or medical-grade. Instead, the covering can be made of cloth or other textiles – for example, a scarf or religious head covering that covers the nose and mouth.

A face visor can also be used as long as the nose and mouth is covered completely.

Police Scotland said it was asking people to take personal responsibility “to do the right thing”.

Assistant chief constable Gary Ritchie said: “The chief constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

“Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. 

“We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.”