Naga Munchetty was on hand to quiz First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, on BBC Breakfast this morning about how she would be policing the use of face coverings in shops and on public transport. While Sturgeon gave fairly detailed answers, viewers slammed the breakfast show’s questions with some claiming the hosts appeared “unprepared”.
Kicking off the chat, Munchetty asked: “You have made it compulsory for people to wear facemarks in shops. Why shops, why not other hospitality perhaps retail?”
“Well, retail is,” Sturgeon replied as Munchetty corrected herself: “Sorry, just retail.”
Sturgeon answered: “Well when people go into shops it’s an enclosed space, it can be somewhere it is difficult to keep a safe social distance and so similar to public transport, which has been mandatory for some time, our judgement is that it should be the law that people should wear face coverings.
“In a restaurant or a pub for more obvious reasons it is more difficult to wear face coverings because of the nature of the activity you’re doing there but there needs to be other mitigations in place in these kinds of settings.
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“This is about taking a common sense, practical approach but we know that there is, I think increasing evidence that wearing a face covering can play a part in stopping the transmission of the virus.
“It’s not something that can give you immunity from the virus, it’s not a substitute for all of the other precautions like washing your hands and maintaining a safe distance but it can add a layer of protection.”
Munchetty went on to ask: “What will happen if they don’t? Who polices it?”
“The police,” laughed Sturgeon, forcing Munchetty to explain: “How does that work?
“You go into a shop, you’re wearing a mask, you’re looking around, you go into a changing room, you take off the mask and say I don’t want to wear it. Who’s responsibility is it then to be policed?”
Sturgeon answered: “First of all let me tell you the law. If you’re not wearing a face covering, the police will undoubtedly tell you you should be and encourage you to wear it.
“The police can impose a fixed penalty notice – a fine in other words.”
She added: “I’ve compared this to the wearing of seat belts. If you think about it, when you get into a car, you don’t have a police officer standing next to the car checking you’re wearing a seat belt.
“If you’re caught not wearing one, you can of course be fined and acton can be taken against you.
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“But that’s not why we wear a seat belt. We do it because we know its for our own protection.
“For the foreseeable future, what I’m saying to people is, wearing a face covering in a shop or on public transport should become as automatic to us as putting on a seat belt when you get into a car.”
Taking to Twitter to comment on in the interview, viewers made it clear the weren’t impressed as one shared: “5 year olds could ask better questions #BBCBreakfast #Sturgeon.”
Another added: “Nicola just looks like she can’t be arsed with these stupid questions anymore. Who polices it? Ehhh the police, Naga honestly #BBCBreakfast.”
A third continued: “Naga: Who polices this then? Nicola: Ummm…the police would police it! #BBCBreakfast.”
“Did Naga not prepare for her interview with wee Nicola? Utterly vacuous questions as if she’s no clue about devolution. #BBCBreakfast,” someone else posted.
A fifth tweeted: “Naga Munchetty having an absolute howler on #BBCBreakfast.”
However there were some viewers who appreciated the chat and jumped the defence of the presenters, with one viewer tweeting: “#BBCBreakfast oh for God’s sake put your partisan nonsense aside. One lot saying @TVNaga01 too compliant with @NicolaSturgeon the other she is interrupting.
“The interview was courteous, informed and FM was given opp to explain Scot position.”
BBC Breakfast airs daily on BBC One at 6am.