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Nicola Sturgeon apologises for brief Covid rule breach while attending wake

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NICOLA Sturgeon has apologised after she breached Scottish Government Covid rules by taking her face mask off at a wake.

A picture obtained by the Scottish Sun shows the First Minister standing at a bar, talking to three people. Though she is some distance from them, her face is uncovered.

According to the guidance, customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering except when seated. Breaches are punishable by a fixed penalty notice of £60.

The SNP leader was attending a wake at the Stable Bar and Restaurant in Edinburgh.

She had earlier been at a funeral at nearby Mortonhall Crematorium for a Scottish government civil servant who died after contracting Covid.

In a statement, the First Minister said: “Last Friday, while attending a funeral wake, I had my mask off briefly.

“This was a stupid mistake and I’m really sorry. “I talk every day about the importance of masks, so I’m not going to offer any excuses.

“I was in the wrong, I’m kicking myself, and I’m sorry.”

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The Scottish Tories said the First Minister should have known better. 

A spokesman said: “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.”

Scottish Government Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf came to the First Minister’s defence. 

He tweeted: “FM has approached pandemic by being upfront from v beginning. She has apologised for accidental lapse (which I suspect most of us have had one over last 9 months). I’ve known her for 15yrs & she is her harshest critic. I am sure most ppl will understand, accept apology & move on.”

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