Scotland’s chief medic ‘sorry’ for breaching coronavirus rules to visit second home

Catherine Calderwood warned by police after paper reported her trips to property

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) and chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Reuters.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon (left) and chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood. File photograph: Jeff J Mitchell/Reuters.

 

Police issued a warning to Scotland’s chief medical officer Dr Catherine Calderwood on Sunday after she broke her own advice on social distancing and visited her second home this weekend and last.

Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon said Dr Calderwood would no longer be the public face of the country’s campaign to tackle the coronavirus after photographs of the medic visiting her holiday home in Earlsferry, about an hour’s drive from Edinburgh, were published in the Scottish Sun.

“I did not follow the advice I’m giving to others, I’m truly sorry for that,” Dr Caldwerwood said at a news conference on Sunday.

She said she had seen comments calling her a hypocrite and irresponsible.

“What I did was wrong. I’m very sorry,” she said. “I know how important the advice is I have issued. I do not want my mistake to distract for that.”

She also apologised to police and National Health Service (NHS) colleagues.

Future conduct

Police Scotland said officers had spoken to Dr Calderwood about her actions and had warned her about her future conduct.

“The legal instructions on not leaving your home without a reasonable excuse apply to everyone,” Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said in a statement.

“Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances. It is vital everyone adheres to these requirements.”

Ms Sturgeon said Dr Calderwood would no longer take part in the media briefings on Scotland’s campaign to tackle the coronavirus.

“I am acutely aware of the importance of public trust in the advice the government is giving to stay at home in order to save lives and protect our NHS,” she said in a statement.

“To maintain that trust we will be revising our public information campaign and the chief medical officer will be withdrawing from media briefings for the foreseeable future.”

Ms Sturgeon earlier said she did not know that Dr Calderwood had been spending weekends at her second home but nonetheless she stood by her colleague.

Scotland has recorded 3,345 coronavirus cases and the death toll stands at 218. - Reuters