Sky News presenter Kay Burley has agreed to be off air for six months after breaking COVID rules.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that a small number of the broadcaster's staff had attended a party for Burley's 60th birthday on Saturday evening (December 5), where coronavirus-related guidelines were not followed.
BBC News reports that Burley was among 10 people who went to a restaurant on Saturday, and that she briefly went into another. It also reports that individuals from at least three households mixed at a private residence later in the evening.
Sky, which has conducted an internal review into what happened, said only that "COVID-19 guidelines were breached" and has not commented further. In a tweet on Monday (December 7), Burley confirmed that she had "briefly popped into another restaurant" to use the bathroom.
The channel's political editor Beth Rigby and North of England correspondent Inzamam Rashid, who were present at the celebrations, have also stepped down for three months each.
Talking in a statement released on Twitter, Burley assured that she's going to use the time away from work as a "period of reflection" and that "no-one is prouder of our channel's reputation" than herself.
"It's clear to me that we are all in the fight against COVID-19 and that we all have a duty to stick firmly by the rules," she went on.
"It doesn't matter that I thought I was COVID-compliant on a recent social event. The fact is I was wrong, I made a big mistake, and I am sorry.
"Some dear friends and colleagues – some of the most talented and committed professionals in our business – have been pulled into this episode and I regret this enormously."
Elsewhere, Rigby described the goings-on as an "error of judgement" and apologised to her fellow journalists for letting them, and their viewers, down.
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