SNP labelled ‘patronising’ after publishing coronavirus politeness guidelines

The SNP have been labelled “patronising” after publishing coronavius politeness guidelines to help people avoid “awkward situations”.

In a nine-page booklet, the Scottish Government has offered Scots tips such as saying “do you need a mask? I’ve several spare ones” instead of “please wear a mask”.

Called “The Covid Guide to Etiquette and Pandemic Politeness”, the booklet’s publication comes after Scottish Government research found “over 80 per cent of people in Scotland have felt awkward when trying to follow the rules and the majority have worried about appearing rude or hurting someone’s feelings”.

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They explain the findings showed “framing what you say as an offer rather than a request will help to reduce tension”.

The Scottish Government have been labelled “patronising” after publishing “The COVID Guide to Etiquette and Pandemic Politeness”
The Scottish Government have been labelled “patronising” after publishing “The COVID Guide to Etiquette and Pandemic Politeness”

It adds: “This shows care and co-operation and is more likely to result in a positive outcome.”

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The booklet also offers advice on what to do if a “a friend goes in for a hug or handshake”.

It advises saying: “I so want to hug you!

“But I guess we have to wait until it’s safe. I don’t want to risk harming you or anyone else you are in contact with. I’m giving you a virtual hug.”

On people removing a mask indoors, the guide advises Scots to say: “Let’s catch up outside? Where there’s space to keep a wee distance.”

If someone sits too close to you on public transport, the booklet recommends saying: “I’m happy to move if that’s easier for you?”.

The document continues to offer advice such as “moving yourself away” when someone isn’t adhering to the two-metre rule, and suggests reporting it if necessary.

Help is also provided in getting out of social events, with a section on how to “decline an offer from a friend when guidance isn’t being followed”.

The document says: “It’s OK to politely decline an offer to do something if it’s a situation where the guidance isn’t being followed.

“Remember this festive season if you have formed a bubble, you can’t meet with anyone outside of your bubble.

“If a friend invites you to birthday drinks at their house, try providing a positive reason for declining and offer an alternative.”

The booklet tells Scots to focus on the welfare of the other person, suggesting they say: “I wouldn’t want to risk infecting you – that would be the worst birthday present ever.

“Let’s have a birthday zoom and plan a bigger celebration when it’s safe to get together”.

Conservative MSP Brian Whittle claimed the advice was the “definition of patronising”.

He said: "Scots get the damage this pandemic has caused and have been making a herculean effort to abide by the rules for months now.

“It is another page out of the SNP’s nanny state playbook and treats sensible men and women across the country like toddlers rather than adults.

“It is time for the SNP to actually concentrate on what matters for once and ensure a clear and accountable roll out of the new vaccine.

“There are already a number of unanswered questions on key measurements for getting the injection up and running including on storage, logistics, staffing and vaccination locations.”

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