THE Greens have urged Nicola Sturgeon to make masks mandatory on Scotland’s high streets.

Bargain hunters hit the high street yesterday as some shops opened for the first time since the lockdown was brought in three months ago.

Across Scotland, there were long queues outside popular retailers like Primark, JD Sport and the Apple Shop with consumers relishing the opportunity to purchase in person. 

But many shoppers shunned government advice to cover their mouths. 

Scottish Greens health spokesperson Alison Johnson has called on ministers to make the advice compulsory.

She said the message clearly wasn't getting through to shoppers and urged the Scottish Government to follow the lead of Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea and around 45 other countries and make the wearing of masks compulsory when shopping.

Currently face coverings are mandatory on public transport but remain "recommended" in shops and other indoor spaces. 

Johnstone said: “Face coverings help save lives, yet in images and footage of the shops reopening this week, the majority of people appear not to be wearing masks. Many supermarkets still haven’t provided coverings for their staff.

“The message clearly isn’t getting through, even though scientific studies published as far back as March have made clear that face coverings help prevent the wearer spreading the virus.

“Mixed messages haven’t helped. It makes no sense that we have one rule for public transport and another for shops when the risks are similar.

“Germany made face coverings mandatory in April. Scotland needs to do the same to protect our shop workers and the wider public. A clearly explained rule would be easier to communicate to people and help prevent a second wave of COVID-19.” 

Sturgeon has previously said that no final decision on making covering compulsory had been made.

Earlier this month when asked about making face coverings mandatory, she said: "Yes, it is under consideration. We haven't reached a final decision on this but I think it is fair to say it is something that we are considering.

"I think that is inevitable. I understand why some people may not want to wear face coverings.

“But there is a benefit to be had if you wear a face covering in an enclosed space where physical distancing is a bit more difficult."