THE SCOTTISH Government could be set to make face coverings compulsory for shoppers, the First Minister has warned.

Nicola Sturgeon is set to reveal whether masks will be made mandatory during the daily coronavirus briefing on Thursday. 

The comments came as shoppers returned to Scotland’s high streets, with queues forming outside stores. 

Thursday will also see the First Minister share the advice the government has received over the two metre social distancing rule – “and whether there are any circumstances in which it can be adapted, with appropriate mitigations in place.”

Speaking at today’s briefing, Sturgeon admitted she was worried Scots might “let down their guard”. 

The First Minister said people had to remember that coronavirus had “not gone away.”

She added: “It is still present – which is why we are still seeing some new cases in Scotland. It is just as infectious and dangerous as it ever was. And it will come back hard if we let it.

“The figures in Scotland we are seeing right now, are a result of the decisions and the sacrifices all of us have made over the past 100 days.

“The figures we see in the future – in the second half of July; in August, as schools prepare to reopen; and into the autumn – they will be the result of the decisions we all take now, and in the weeks ahead.

“That is why - as I said – we are right now in a potentially very dangerous moment.”

Earlier the Scottish Greens urged the First Minister to make masks mandatory on Scotland’s high streets.

The party’s health spokesperson Alison Johnson said changing the rules on face coverings would help “protect our shop workers and the wider public.”

Asked by The National if making masks a requirement for shoppers would help mitigate against guard dropping, the First Minister said: “It potentially would.”

She added: “I want people to wear masks for the right reasons, because we think it can help reduce the risk of transmission but, as we demonstrated on public transport, if I think we need to make that mandatory in order to get sufficient people following that advice, then we will do that. And I'll confirm that decision, whatever that decision is going to be, on Thursday once we've completed our consideration of it.”

However, Sturgeon said shoppers shouldn’t wait for any formal announcement. 

She said: We're asking you to wear a face covering in shops, because we think it will make a difference. It won't stop coronavirus on its own, but as we go out and the risks of transmission increase because we're interacting more, we need to do everything we can to reduce the risk, and that's physical distancing, it's washing your hands, it's washing surfaces that you touch, and it's also wearing a face covering.

"If we do all of these things then we help to reduce the risk of passing it on to somebody else or having somebody else pass it on to us so please do it".