Scottish first woman minister, Nicola Sturgeon, apologized Wednesday after being photographed without a mask at an indoor event in violation of strict COVID-19 rules.
Sturgeon, the leader of the nationalist Scottish National Party, was spoken to a group of women in a pub with no face covering after a funeral in Edinburgh last week. The photo was published in the Scottish edition of the Sun newspaper on Wednesday.
“I took my mask off briefly last Friday while attending a funeral. That was a stupid mistake and I’m really sorry,” Sturgeon said in a statement.
“I talk about the importance of masks every day so I won’t offer excuses. I was wrong, I kick myself and I’m sorry.”
The law in Scotland requires people to wear masks in most indoor spaces, including pubs and restaurants. On Tuesday, Sturgeon reminded the public of the importance of wearing masks when speaking to the Scottish Parliament.
The Scottish Conservatives, Scotland’s arm of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ruling party, said Sturgeon should have known better and that it was undermining the public health message.
“There cannot be one rule for Nicola Sturgeon and another for everyone else,” the Scottish Conservatives said on Twitter.
UK Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick, however, was more forgiving.
“Lots of people make mistakes,” he told Sky News. “It’s never easy, we are all human at the end of the day.”