Nicola Sturgeon said “there are no excuses” after she breached Covid rules by taking off her face mask at a funeral wake.
The First Minister apologised in the Scottish Parliament, admitting she was “in the wrong”, and said she was “kicking herself very hard” following the incident.
A photograph published in the Scottish Sun showed her chatting to three women in a bar in Edinburgh while standing at a distance but without wearing a mask.
Customers in hospitality venues must wear a face covering, except when seated at a table.
Sturgeon told MSPs: “I want to take this opportunity to say how sorry I am for my breach of rules that I ask all of us to follow every single day.
“I took my face mask off while briefly attending a funeral purvey last week and I’m sure everyone will have seen in the media this morning a picture of me without it.
“I want to be clear today that regardless of the circumstances I was in the wrong. There are no excuses. These rules do apply to me, just as they apply to everyone else. The rules really matter.
“I am kicking myself very hard, possibly harder than my worst critic ever could, but more importantly I’ll be making sure I don’t drop my guard again.”
The First Minister added: “With an enormous dose of humility let me remind you, and most importantly today, myself of FACTS.
“Use face coverings, avoid crowded places, clean your hands and surfaces regularly, keep two metres distance from people in other households and self-isolate and get tested if you have symptoms.”
She was speaking ahead of the final First Minister’s Questions of the year and confirmed Scotland had recorded 1190 new cases of coronavirus.
Another 47 people with the virus have died, bringing the death toll under the measure of people who first tested positive within the previous 28 days to 4373.