Protective mask appears on much-loved Edinburgh statue Greyfriars Bobby during coronavirus pandemic

The mask is thought to have been in place for most of Sunday

Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:25 am
Updated Monday, 23rd March 2020, 7:26 am

One of Edinburgh’s best known statues was taking the ongoing coronavirus pandemic very seriously this weekend, making sure to stay protected while standing proud on its plinth.

The famous Greyfriars Bobby on George IV Bridge was seen with a hard-to-come-by protective mask over the weekend, as these pictures by Evening News photographer Scott Louden show.

It is unclear at this time whether the The 19th century statue is wearing the face mask in order to prevent being infected, or whether it was a precautionary measure given the fact that thousands of tourists think it is good luck to rub its nose, therefore protecting others’ health.

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The mask is thought to have been in place for most of Sunday

However, the mask is thought to have been in place for the majority of Sunday, March 22, at least.

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It is unclear whether the mask is on to protect the dog's health or the thousands of tourists who rub its nose for good luck every year

Why would touching bobby’s nose be dangerous?

If Edinburgh’s most-loved object (as voted for in a public vote) was thinking of others when it strapped on the mask, it may have just help save a few more lives.

Thousands of tourists flock every year to the statue on George IV Bridge to rub its nose, which has resulted in a brassy shine appearing through the years.

Legend has it that a touch of the statue’s nose will bring the person good luck.

However, given recent guidance around not touching surfaces and washing hands regularly, this should be avoided.

According to Government guidance, ‘it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes...’

The virus is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

So the mask, which will prevent people from rubbing the nose for good luck, could help to stop the virus spreading further.

The statue was erected in 1872 to commemorate the faithful terrier who kept watch over his owner’s grave for 14 years.