FACE masks will be mandatory in shops from July 10, the First Minister has announced. 

Speaking at the Scottish Government’s daily coronavirus briefing, Nicola Sturgeon said: "This is not a decision we have taken lightly. It has taken us some time indeed to reach this decision, but as we all start to interact more, it is vital that we take all reasonable steps to reduce risk. And we know that these coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission indoors." 

The First Minister urged Scots not to wait until next week, asking them to get into the habit now.

"This is a really important way for all of us to help protect each other and to display that sense of solidarity that has served us well," she said.

There will be exemptions for children under five and people with certain medical conditions.

At least 50 other countries including Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea have made masks mandatory in shops and enclosed spaces.

There had been calls to make coverings compulsory from within her own party. 

North East MSP Gillian Martin wrote to the First Minister earlier this week, telling the SNP leader that the first few days of retail reopening had shown that guidelines weren’t enough. 

She said today's announcement would be a "relief to the many anxious people who’ve been in touch with me pleading for more to be done to ensure face coverings are worn – in shops in particular.

"Not only are we protecting others, we are putting measures in place that can give us the confidence to enjoy the lifting of restrictions on our movements. Plus, we help protect the shop workers we owe so much to.

“Other countries have benefited from mandatory mask wearing, and I’m convinced we will too.”