Nicola Sturgeon is said to be 'kicking herself' after breaching Covid 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.

The First Minister has apologised, but has been criticised by political opponents for failing to follow her own laws. 

However, there has been doubt that the incident will harm Ms Sturgeon politically, with pundits saying the breach was at the lower end of the scale. 

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon apologises for breaching Covid rules

Last night, BBC presenter James Cook said that the incident was not at the upper end of the scale, compared to other breaches of Covid rules which have occured in the political realm.  

During last nights News at Ten broadcast, Mr Cook responded to a question from presenter Hugh Edwards, with a  thinly-veiled reference to Boris Johnson's former advisor Dominic Cummings, who explained his own breach of the rules by saying he was driving to test his eyesight. 

Mr Cook said: "Will this damage Nicola Sturgeon politically, Hugh? Well, she’s riding high in the polls in Scotland.  

"It could have been worse. Her opponents will of course call her a hypocrite, but it could have been worse – she could have been driving to test her eyesight to Stirling Castle, and she wasn’t. 

"Nonetheless, she’s broken her own law and she says she’s kicking herself."

This morning, Scotland’s national clinical director, Professor Jason Leitch, told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme that the First Minister is "as furious with herself as some might be with her."

HeraldScotland:

The First Minister has been leading Scotland's public health campaign

Prof Leitch added: “We had a brief conversation last night and she’s absolutely mad at this little lapse in concentration.

“It’s so easily done, we live in a completely different world from a year ago, don’t we?”

READ MORE: What are the new Covid Christmas rules in Scotland?​

He said Ms Sturgeon was “just about out the door and was called back”.

He added: “Her mask was off because she was leaving, and then (she went) back in and (had) a little lapse – didn’t put it back on.

“It just reinforces again to all of us the nature of these instructions and this virus, and she is as mad with herself as everybody 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.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman has said: “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.”