The leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, Willie Rennie, has been pictured breaking the guidance on social distancing today during a karate lesson.
Mr Rennie, the incumbent MSP for North East Fife, was seen getting stuck in with strikes and high kicks in Edinburgh today, while campaigning for next month’s Holyrood election.
Current rules state that 2m physical distancing should be maintained between members of different households.
And, public health advice is to avoid touching surfaces with your hands.
Scottish Karate Governing Body (SKGB) and Sport Scotland both advise against the use of pad training.
A local karate expert explained: “It is clear that contact activity is NOT permitted in any way, shape or form, either via the SKGB guidance or Scottish Government guidance.
“They might argue that Mr Rennie didn’t touch him so it’s non-contact – that’s not correct. Any activity which brings someone into a 2m distance of someone else in order to ‘do’ the sport is classed as contact.
“It may also be argued that it is one-to-one training. That may well be, but the contact rule has still been broken.”
Twitter user John Hunter noticed the rulebreaking and tagged National Clinical Director Jason Leitch in a tweet.
He said: “2m? Contact sports? This isn’t permitted. We have to keep 2m apart when cycling but this clown can do an actual contact sport?”
2m? Contact sports? This isn’t permitted. We have to keep 2m apart when cycling but this clown can do an actual contact sport? @jasonleitch
— 🏴 John Hunter 🏴 💙 (@CyclingJohnH) April 23, 2021
Mr Rennie, who is standing for the North East Fife constituency in the Holyrood election on May 6, was given the lesson by Robert Steggles at The Meadows, Edinburgh.
He has led the Scottish LibDems since 2011.
A Lib Dem spokesman: “It is important that we all stay safe, including those of us engaged in this election.
“We took necessary precautions today at what was an outdoor photo opportunity and will continue to do so.”
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