Nicola Sturgeon issues warning after mass gatherings in Kelvingrove and The Meadows

The First Minister urged people to follow the rules to protect loved ones.

Nicola Sturgeon has called a demonstration against mass gatherings in Edinburgh “a vital reminder of the loss of life” coronavirus can cause.

Volunteers in the city woke up early this morning to clear away the litter and rubbish in the aftermath of a mass gathering in The Meadows.

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The group used the waste they colleced to spell out 2,482 in large digits on the grass – the current Covid-19 death toll in Scotland.

It comes after Ms Sturgeon issued a stern warning against mass gatherings during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown yesterday.

The First Minister’s message came before footage of a mass brawl in The Meadows in Edinburgh emerged on Thursday evening.

And in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Park, police were forced to disperse hundreds of people who broke social distancing measures while enjoying Scotland’s hottest day of the year.

“Crowded places risk a resurgence of COVID - and risk lives,” Ms Sturgeon told followers on Twitter last night.

Crowds were moved on by the police in Glasgow.

“I understand the desire to enjoy the hot weather - but PLEASE don’t jeopardise our progress.

“Follow the rules - they’re for the protection of you and your loved ones.

“My thanks to Police Scotland for helping keep us safe,” she finished.

People gathering on beaches and in parks across Scotland yesterday were also widely criticised for littering and damaging the environment.

As temperatures peaked at around 28C, tens of thousands of Scots enjoyed barbecues and beers in the sun - but left rubbish strewn across public areas.

Similar mass gatherings in Kelvingrove Park yesterday drew criticism from Police Scotland officials. Inspector Lesley Docherty, of Partick Police Office, said people needed to take “personal responsibility”.

“These regulations remain that people should only leave the house for very limited purposes, for example for basic necessities, for exercise or recreation, for medical needs or travelling for work which cannot be done from home,” he said.

“The Chief Constable has made it clear that we are asking people to take personal responsibility to do the right thing and remember the purpose of these measures is to aid the collective effort to stay safe, protect others and save lives by preventing the virus from spreading.

“Our officers will continue to engage with the public, explain the legislation and guidance and encourage compliance. We will use enforcement as a last resort only where there is a clear breach of the legislation.”

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