Scots' medical chief breaks own coronavirus rules, steps down from briefings

  • Scots' medical chief breaks own coronavirus rules, steps down from briefings

Scots' medical chief breaks own coronavirus rules, steps down from briefings

Scotland's chief medical officer will no longer attend press briefings after coming under fire for twice flouting the UK's lockdown rules in order to visit her holiday home on the coast.

Dr Catherine Calderwood said she was "deeply sorry" and resigned "with a heavy heart".

Dr Calderwood will now work "over the next few days to ensure a smooth transition" to her successor.

However, pictures of her during the a family trip to Earlsferry were published in The Scottish Sun.

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Dr Calderwood, meanwhile, has issued a public apology for her actions - saying while there were reasons for what she did, they did not justify it and she did not have "legitimate reasons" to be out of her home.

A spokesman said she had been working seven days a week preparing Scotland's response to the Covid-19 crisis and she made a decision to check on the family home in Fife as she would not be back until after the lockdown.

"If the chief medical officer can't lead by example what chance do we have of convincing people to stay at home?"

Everyone in Scotland is being told to not leave their home unless they have a "reasonable excuse".

But she said the advice the chief medical officer gives her is "vital" at this time.

"Individuals must not make personal exemptions bespoke to their own circumstances".

"I know how important this advice is and I do not want my mistake to distract from that".

In a joint statement, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie and Wendy Chamberlain, the MSP and MP respectively for the area where Dr Calderwood has her second home, said: "If we are going to get through this pandemic we need medical leaders who everyone can follow".

Dr Calderwood, a trained consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, stressed people should adhere to the restrictions, and said it was looking less likely summer holidays will take place this year as they have done previously.

"They observed social distancing throughout, so they were very safe".

Last month, the Scottish government issued a travel warning criticising the "irresponsible behaviour" of people with second homes and campervans travelling to the Highlands in a bid to isolate.