Scottish leader Sturgeon sorry for breaking COVID-19 rules

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gives an update on COVID-19 restrictions, at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 22, 2020. Scotland has imposed some increased restrictions for the Christmas season. (Russell Cheyne/PA via AP) (Russell Cheyne)

LONDON – Scotland’s leader, Nicola Sturgeon, has apologised for breaching coronavirus restrictions when she took off her face mask at a funeral wake.

A photograph published in the Scottish Sun newspaper showed Sturgeon chatting to three women in a bar while standing at a distance but without wearing a mask. She was attending a funeral wake on Friday for a civil servant.

Under the Scottish government’s coronavirus rules, customers in restaurants and bars must wear a face covering except when seated at their table. Those breaching the rules can face a 60-pound ($81) fine.

Sturgeon apologized for the “stupid mistake” on Wednesday, saying she had her mask off briefly.

“I talk every day about the importance of masks, so I’m not going to offer any excuses,” she said. “I was in the wrong, I’m kicking myself, and I’m sorry.”