Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong'

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

Breaking Travel News:

Scottish chief medical officer has issued a grovelling TV apology, in which she’s said she is “truly sorry” for not adhering to coronavirus guidelines by visiting her second home – twice.

In the apology, broadcast on Sky News today, Catherine Calderwood acknowledged she had “no excuses” and assured the public would ‘not happen again’.

She admitted she “made a mistake and let people down” and “cannot justify it”.

“I did not follow the advice I am giving to others, and I am truly sorry for that,” she said. 

“I’ve seen a lot of comments from members of the public on Twitter today, people calling me a hypocrite, people telling me about the hardships they have endured while following my guidance.

“I want people to know that I have seen all of that, and I have heard the comments. What I did was wrong.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood (Image: Daily Record)

“I’m very sorry.”

Dr Calderwood said her office had also received emails from members of the public making clear their disappointment and unhappiness.

The CMO said it was “important to be clear” she had been at her home in Fife last weekend as well as the weekend just gone.

Addressing Dr Calderwood’s trip to her second home, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The chief medical officer made a mistake in travelling away from her home.

“Whatever her reasons for doing so it was wrong and she knows that.”

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (C), and Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman (R) listening as and Chief Medical Officer for Scotland Catherine Calderwood (L) (Image: Scottish Government/AFP via Gett)

She added: “All of us, including me, will make mistakes in these unprecedented times we are living in. When we do we must be candid about it and learn from it.”

She said the CMO is learning from her error, and added: “Over the past few weeks, as we have been dealing with this crisis, her advice and expertise has been invaluable to me.”

She added that “not withstanding her mistake on this, she is doing extremely well”.

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

She has apologised (Image: Scottish Government/AFP via Gett)

This morning Dr Calderwood issued a written apology. The statement was released after photos picturing her, with her family, near a coastal retreat in Earlsferry, were published in The Scottish Sun on Saturday.

The Prime Minister said she had not known about Dr Calderwood’s visits to Fife until recently.

Despite facing calls from some politicians to stand down, she plans to stay in her post.

She had spoken with Ms Sturgeon about her wrongdoing, she said, and would continue to “focus entirely” on her job advising ministers over the outbreak.

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the chief medical officer “made a mistake” (Image: Scottish Government/AFP via Gett)

“I know how important this advice is and I do not want my mistake to distract from that,” she added.

“I have a job to do as chief medical officer to provide advice to ministers on the path of this virus and to support the medical profession as they work night and day to save lives.”

“I don’t want to make the jobs of the police, or my NHS colleagues, any harder – and I apologise to them as well.”

Dr Calderwood has however announced she is withdrawing from daily media briefings during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement after Sunday’s briefing, Ms Sturgeon said: “I am acutely aware of the importance of public trust in the advice the Government is giving to stay at home in order to save lives and protect our NHS.

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

Chief Medical Officer Catherine Calderwood received a warning from police after her visit to Fife last weekend (Image: Getty Images)

“To maintain that trust we will be revising our public information campaign and the chief medical officer will be withdrawing from media briefings for the foreseeable future.

“She will continue to provide the Scottish Government with the scientific and medical advice on the spread of coronavirus.”

Ms Sturgeon said Dr Calderwood had offered to do whatever is in the best interest of the country.

The First Minister added: “In my view, that would not be her resignation.”

Police Scotland Chief Constable Iain Livingstone said officers had visited Dr Calderwood and issued a warning about her conduct.

In a statement, Livingstone said the chief medic had accepted the officers’ warnings and advice.

, Scotland's chief medic on coronavirus travel: 'What I did was wrong', TravelWireNews | World News, TravelWireNews | World News

Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer Dr Catherine Calderwood (Image: Getty Images)

“The legal instructions on not leaving your home without a reasonable excuse apply to everyone,” he said.

“Social distancing is the key intervention to curtail the spread of coronavirus and it is essential that the instructions are followed to protect each other, take strain from the NHS and save lives.

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

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.

Read More

Coronavirus outbreak

Meanwhile, when asked about the Scottish chief medical officer visiting her second home, Matt Hancock said: “This is a matter for the Scottish Government.

“They, I know, are addressing the questions that have been asked in Scotland.

“These rules are there for everyone.

“We couldn’t be clearer that the social distancing rules are there for everyone to follow.

“I understand that the Scottish CMO has apologised, as far as I see it that is a matter for the Scottish Government to address.”

Post your own content click here  | Click here to receive free email updates |  Source: News feed