Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has been forced to quit after twice breaking her own rules to self-isolate and visiting her second home.
Catherine Calderwood conceded her position had become untenable, after she had ignored official advice to avoid all non-essential travel.
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“It is with a heavy heart that I resign as chief medical officer.”
The Scottish Sun revealed over the weekend that Ms Calderwood, along with her husband and three children, were at their holiday home in the village of Earlsferry in Fife.
Ms Calderwood initially claimed she was at the holiday house to “check on it,” before it was subsequently confirmed that this was the second weekend in a row she had visited the house.
Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon said Ms Calderwood’s actions left her with no choice but to resign.
“It is clear that the mistake she made, even though she has apologised sincerely and honourably for it, risks distracting from and undermining confidence in the government’s public health message at this crucial time,” she said.
“That is not a risk either of us is willing to take.”
Ms Calderwood’s resignation comes as Britain’s health minister says the stricter restrictions will be imposed on outdoor exercise if people continue to flout the lockdown laws.
Daily exercise, such as walking, running or cycling, is allowed as long as people maintain social distancing.
But any other activity such as sunbathing could put others at risk and prolong the lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.
Most people were complying, he said, but if a minority continued to break the rules “we then might have to take further action”.
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“What we are doing is being absolutely clear that the current rules must be followed,” he told a daily media briefing.
There were fears that warm spring weather on Sunday could encourage Britons to head to parks.
London’s Lambeth Council closed Brockwell Park after it said many people had sunbathed or gathered in large groups there on Saturday.
Hancock said it was “unbelievable” to see a small minority flouting the government’s advice to maintain social-distancing.
Britain’s death toll rose to 4934 on Saturday after 621 people died in the previous 24 hours.
A total of 195,524 people had been tested of which 47,806 tested positive, the health ministry said.
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The warning came as The Queen told Britain and other Commonwealth nations that they would overcome the coronavirus outbreak if they stayed resolute in the face of lockdown and self-isolation, invoking the spirit of World War II in an extremely rare TV address.
In what was only the fifth broadcast of her 68-year reign, Queen Elizabeth called upon Britons to show the resolve of their forebears and demonstrate they were as strong as generations of the past.
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