NICOLA Sturgeon has hinted that the Scottish Government could soon make face-coverings compulsory for shoppers.

A change in the rules could be imminent, with the First Minister set to make an announcement tomorrow.

Shoppers returned to Scotland’s high streets this week, with stores opening their doors for the first time since the country went into lockdown.

While bargain hunters queued patiently, the majority were bare-faced, despite government advice.

Speaking at yesterday’s briefing, Sturgeon said people had to remember that coronavirus had “not gone away”.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon urged to make masks mandatory on high streets

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.

She continued: “The figures we see in the future – in the second half of July, in August as schools prepare to re-open 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 in Scotland’s high street shops.

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

However, the Scottish Retail Consortium warned that making face-coverings compulsory could create more “frictions and flashpoints”. Head of policy, Ewan MacDonald-Russell, said: “If the wearing of face-coverings is to become compulsory – perhaps in tandem with a reduction in the two-metre physical-distancing rule – then putting the burden of enforcement on shop workers risks creating new frictions or flashpoints with customers.

READ MORE: Hospital visits to be allowed again in Scotland next month

“It should be the authorities and not retail workers who should be responsible for enforcing any new mandatory approach.

Speaking at the daily briefing, Sturgeon agreed. She said “Let me be very clear that nobody should be abusing, or being intolerant to, or showing disrespect to people working in our shops.

“As we open up I want people to support the retail sector, I want people to shop responsibly, following all the rules.

“But all of us have a choice of whether we go to a shop right now; we have a choice as individuals, as customers whether we take that risk.”

On making face-coverings compulsory, she said: “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.”