Nicola Sturgeon has apologised after she breached Covid rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake.

A photograph on the front page of the Scottish Sun showed the First Minister chatting in a bar while standing at a distance without wearing a mask.

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Customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering except when seated and must wear one when moving around under Scottish coronavirus rules.

The First Minister was attending a funeral wake at the time the picture was captured. 

She 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.”

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

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A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “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.”

Under coronavirus regulations introduced on September 14 in Scotland, face coverings for customers and staff are mandatory when entering, exiting and moving around hospitality venues.

The rules state: “There is an exemption for when customers are seated for the service of food and drink and for back of house roles such as kitchen staff or staff who are behind protective screens separating them from customers.”

Scotland's Justice Minister Humza Yousaf tweeted his support writing: "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." 

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

There have been 43 deaths and 1,316 new cases of coronavirus in Scotland the past 24 hours.