‘I’m kicking myself’: Nicola Sturgeon apologises in first public appearance since COVID rule breach

James Morris
·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2-min read

Watch: Nicola Sturgeon apologises for breaching coronavirus rules

  • Nicola Sturgeon: ‘I am kicking myself very hard’

  • First minister breached COVID rules by taking off face mask at funeral wake

  • In first public appearance since news of breach broke, Sturgeon says ‘there are no excuses’

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Nicola Sturgeon has said she is “kicking myself very hard” after breaching coronavirus rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake.

A photograph published in the Scottish Sun showed the first minister chatting to three women in a bar while standing at a distance, but without wearing a mask.

Speaking during her first public appearance since the story broke, Sturgeon apologised for her breach of the rules “that I ask all of us to follow every single day”.

She told the Scottish Parliament: “I took my face mask off while briefly attending a funeral last week. I am sure everyone will have seen in the media this morning a picture of me without it.

“I want to be clear today that regardless of the circumstances, I was in the wrong. There are no excuses.

“These rules do apply to me just as they do to everyone else and the rules really matter.

“I am kicking myself very hard, possibly harder than my worst critic ever could. But more importantly I will be making sure I don’t drop my guard again.”

Under her government’s coronavirus rules, customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering except when seated and must wear one when moving around.

Sturgeon was attending a funeral wake for a Scottish government civil servant.

The Scottish Sun reported that she was at the Stable Bar and Restaurant after attending a funeral at the nearby Mortonhall Crematorium.

On Wednesday, Sturgeon concluded her statement, as always, with a reminder of the government’s “FACTS” guidance on coronavirus.

“With an enormous dose of humility, let me remind you and most importantly myself, of FACTS.

Nicola Sturgeon apologises in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday. (Scottish Parliament TV)
Nicola Sturgeon apologises in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday. (Scottish Parliament TV)

“Use face coverings, avoid crowded places, clean your hands and surfaces regularly, keep two metres distance from other households and self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms.”

People who breach the face covering rules can face a £60 fine.

The Scottish Conservatives had earlier said of Sturgeon’s breach: “The first minister should know better.

“By forgetting the rules and failing to set a proper example, she’s undermining essential public health messaging.

“It’s a blunder that an ordinary member of the public wouldn’t get away with. There cannot be one rule for Nicola Sturgeon and another for everyone else.”

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