Kay Burley returns to Sky News after six-month Covid breach absence

Kay Burley

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Sky News’ Kay Burley has returned to the channel after a six-month absence, imposed after she broke Covid rules.

The presenter confirmed her return last week on social media, adding: “Hope you’re as happy as I am to be back.”

Burley, who joined Sky’s rolling news channel in 1988, apologised in December for breaking rules while celebrating her 60th birthday in central London.

She admitted she had made “an error of judgement” and that she had agreed to “step back for a period of reflection”.

On her TV return on Monday morning, Burley did not appear to address the incident, offering a simple opening greeting of “it is great to be back” before launching into the news headlines.

Two of Burley’s broadcasting colleagues who were among those with her on the night in question took a three-month leave of absence.

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Burley was among 10 people who went to a London restaurant on 5 December. She then briefly went into another restaurant.

She then moved on to a private residence where individuals from at least three households mixed.

London was under tier two restrictions at the time, which meant people were not allowed to socialise with anyone from outside their household or support bubble indoors, either in a private home or a public place.

Sky conducted an internal review after reports of Burley’s celebrations surfaced and said that all of those involved had apologised for the actions.

‘A big mistake’

In a statement announcing her temporary departure in December, Burley said that everyone had a duty “to stick firmly by the rules.”

“It doesn’t matter that I thought I was Covid-compliant on a recent social event,” she wrote. “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,” she went on.

“I very much look forward to being able to continue my 32-year career with Sky when I return.”

Sky’s political editor Beth Rigby and north of England correspondent Inzamam Rashid, who were among those with her, were absent for three months.

Burley is one of Sky News’ best-known presenters and has hosted its breakfast show since October 2019.

It is not known if she or any of her other temporarily absent colleagues were paid while they were off air.

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