LONDON — Police issued a warning to Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood on Sunday after she broke her own advice on social distancing to slow coronavirus spread when she visited her second home this weekend and last.
Photographs of Calderwood visiting her holiday home in Earlsferry, on the east coast of Scotland about an hour’s drive from the capital Edinburgh, were published in the Scottish Sun.
“I did not follow the advice I’m giving to others, I’m truly sorry for that,” she said at a news conference in Edinburgh on Sunday.
She said she had seen comments calling her a hypocrite and saying she was irresponsible.
“What I did was wrong. I’m very sorry,” she said.
“I know how important the advice is I have issued. I do not want my mistake to distract for that.”
She also apologized to police and health service colleagues.
Police Scotland said officers had spoken to Calderwood about her actions and had warned her about her future conduct.
“The legal instructions on not leaving your home without a reasonable excuse apply to everyone,” Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said in a statement.
“Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances. It is vital everyone adheres to these requirements.”
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she did not know that Calderwood had been spending weekends at her second home but nonetheless she stood by her colleague.
“I could not do my job as well as I am seeking to do my job without the continued advice and expertise that the chief medical officer brings to this,” she said.
“That is not in any way trying to diminish the seriousness of this, that is the wider point I am trying to ask people to understand.”
Scotland has recorded 3,345 coronavirus cases and the death toll stands at 218.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Angus MacSwan)