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World News

Scottish minister believes church leaders should set an example as legal requirement for face coverings in Scotland ends

by Alex Collett

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that from next Monday April 4, it is no longer a legal requirement to wear face coverings in places of worship within Scotland.

It was been a legal requirement to wear masks at weddings, funerals and services up to this point.

It was only on Tuesday that Sturgeon was seen not wearing a mask at Prince Philips funeral at Westminster Abbey, which received some criticism.

Rev Bryan Kerr from Greyfriars Parish Church in Lanark, part of the Church of Scotland, told Premier he thinks Ms Sturgeon should not be held to account: "The fact that Nicola Sturgeon was at Westminster Abbey, the fact that it was Prince Philip's memorial service didn't matter.

"The fact that it was a church actually didn't matter. 

"What mattered was the fact that it was in England and not in Scotland. 

"The laws are different in different parts of the country. The laws are different in different parts of the world. 

"Westminster Abbey is a huge building with a massive amount of air in it, and a large turnover via the fact that the First Minister was in England at a service. 

"I think it was fair that she followed the laws of the country that she was in at the time."

Rev Kerr also spoke of his reaction to the relaxation of the mask wearing rule, he said: "To be honest, I think that lots of churches are currently looking as they ought to be, what the sensible advice is for their own community and for their own worshipping congregation. 

"In my own congregation in lanark session, the church leadership have already voted that even when face coverings are removed as a legal constraint that they will still strongly encourage them to be worn, for the protection of our neighbours, not for ourselves, but for those sitting around us. 

"For those who are perhaps more anxious, or those who have more health issues than we might have.

"Our current session, we'll be doing that by leading by example and we'll be wearing it even although they don't have to and I think that's the type of thing that will be replicated in congregations across the country."

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