An MP suffering from coronavirus symptoms visited a gift shop and a beauty salon on the same day she took a Covid test, which came back positive.
Margaret Ferrier also posted on Twitter suggesting she visited a leisure centre on the same day.
The Vanilla Salon and Sweet P Gift Boutique, in the MP’s constituency town of Rutherglen, near Glasgow, condemned her actions as ‘irresponsible’ and have been forced to reassure customers their shops are still safe to visit.
Ferrier has been suspended from the SNP after making a 400-mile trip to Westminster before getting her results back.
In photographs posted last Saturday, the MP can be seen posing with socially-distanced staff outside the South Lanarkshire Eastfield Lifestyle centre and next to an indoor swimming pool.
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The caption read: ‘Supporting the Great British Week of Sport with a visit to South Lanarkshire Eastfield Lifestyle.
‘It’s good to see customers coming back to use gym & dance classes with safeguards in place. Thanks to Manager Stewart & Valerie for the tour.’
In a statement on Thursday night the MP said: ‘On Saturday afternoon, after experiencing mild symptoms, I requested a Covid-19 test which I took that day.’
Vanilla Salon said she came for a ‘brief, unarranged visit to introduce herself’, which lasted less than five minutes and involved no close contact with staff. They said no clients were present at the time.
In a statement posted on social media, staff said they were nonetheless ‘totally disheartened at how irresponsible her actions were in today’s circumstances and especially at an already challenging time for a new business’.
Sweet P Boutique’s owner Paula Ogilvie said she reviewed CCTV footage after being contacted by worried customers who had heard about Ferrier’s visit online, confirming that she was in the shop with one other customer and two members of staff.
All four individuals were wearing face masks and ‘nobody was close to Margaret for longer than a few seconds at any point’, Ms Ogilvie added.
In a social media post she wrote: ‘I’m really disappointed that someone in her position chose to visit shops and other local places even though she was suffering from Covid symptoms prior to going for a test on Saturday afternoon.
‘Everything we do to limit the spread of Covid doesn’t matter though unless EVERYBODY follows the rules we have in place.
‘My business means everything to me and I’m now worried that this irresponsible act from one person in the public eye will put people off from visiting Sweet P.
‘Everything possible in place to keep our customers and staff safe’ including capacity limits and hand sanitiser.’
Ferrier has not clarified when she began feeling ill but claimed she was feeling better when she decided to take a train to London on Monday in breach of self-isolation rules.
She was told she was infected with coronavirus on Monday evening and chose to take a train back home to Scotland the next morning.
Party leader Nicola Sturgeon is facing rising pressure to explain when she knew the circumstances of Ms Farrier’s trip.
The MP told her party about the diagnosis on Wednesday but nothing was revealed publicly until she issued a statement apologising on Thursday evening.
Police confirmed yesterday afternoon that an investigation had been launched after Ferrier contacted officers herself and that details have been referred to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.
Staff at South Lanarkshire Eastfield Lifestyle refused to comment on Ferrier’s apparent visit, while the MP’s office has not publicly responded to any media requests on the matter.
In her statement she said she apologised ‘unreservedly’ for her behaviour, saying there is ‘no excuse for my actions’.
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