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Sky News host Kay Burley flies to exclusive South African resort after breaking COVID-19 rules

The presenter has been taken off air for six months

Jenni McKnight

Sky News host Kay Burley has jetted off to South Africa to stay in an exclusive resort after being taken off air for six months for breaking COVID-19 regulations.

The TV star issued an apology after she was caught hosting a party to celebrate her 60th birthday in Soho last Saturday.

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In photos obtained by MailOnline, Kay can be seen marching through the first class lounge at Heathrow Airport as she awaited her flight out of the country.

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She is understood to be heading for Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson's exclusive Sabi Sand Game Reserve, which costs about £1,462 per night.

The presenter had teased her lavish trip abroad on Twitter on Friday night. She told her followers: "Lovely people, whatever else you read be safe in the knowledge I was always heading to my beloved Africa on Friday to sit with lions. They kill for food not sport."

Before her six-month suspension from work was announced, Kay apologised for an "error of judgment". She said: "I want to apologise to you all for an error of judgement. On Saturday night I was enjoying my 60th birthday at a Covid compliant restaurant.

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Kay has been suspended from Sky News for six months

"I am embarrassed to say that later in the evening I inadvertently broke the rules. I had been waiting for a taxi at 11pm to get home. Desperate for the loo I briefly popped into another restaurant to spend a penny. I can only apologise."

Her statement divided fans on social media. While some were sympathetic to her situation and unsure why she was apologising, others expressed their disappointment that she had broken the rules.

"Having to use the toilet is not an error of judgement! No wrong done at all Kay," one follower told the star, while another added: "You are only human Kay."

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Kay apologised on Twitter

But another was less forgiving: "All those people who have had to miss out on milestone celebrations… chucking stones and glass houses spring to mind… You are going to resign, I assume."

Sky News issued a statement following Kay's headline-making birthday. It read: "We place the highest importance on complying with the Government guidelines on Covid, and we expect all our people to comply.

"We were disappointed to learn that a small number of Sky News staff may have engaged in activity that breached the guidelines. Although this took place at a social event in personal time, we expect all our people to follow the rules that are in place for everyone."

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