'Guilt and shame': Rita Ora apologises for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules, again

UNSPECIFIED - MAY 09: In this screengrab, Rita Ora speaks during SHEIN Together Virtual Festival to benefit the COVID – 19 Solidarity Response Fund for WHO powered by the United Nations Foundation on May 09, 2020. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for SHEIN)
Photo credit: Getty

Rita Ora has been forced to apologise a second time after more details about the way in which she flaunted the UK's pandemic restrictions have come to light. 

Last week, the pop star said sorry for breaching COVID-19 lockdown rules when she held a gathering with friends to celebrate her 30th birthday at a London restaurant. 

The 'I Will Never Let You Down' hitmaker said she understood the party "put people at risk", calling her actions "irresponsible". Now, however, reports have emerged that Ora had travelled international just a week before the event, and should have self-isolated for 14 days. 

"I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative COVID tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities," Ora explained in a statement shared with UK news outlets. 

"Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed government advice and isolated myself for the required period," she admitted. 

"As you know, I didn't follow government advice and for that I apologised earlier this week. I apologise again, unreservedly." 

The British singer said that she had subsequently tested negative for coronavirus, as had her immediate family members. 

"While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise that some might seek to follow my example," the  statement continued. 

"My message to them is simple: please don't. The guilt and shame I've carried this week for my mistake aren't worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions." 

Ora said she deserved the criticism she had received, and hoped to one day make it up to the public and NHS workers. 

"That is my promise to everyone disappointed in my behaviour. In the meantime, I will be donating my fee from Egypt to charity.

"Be better than I have been and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to learn the hard way yourselves," she implored. 

According to Metro, Ora was handed a £10,000 fine for her rule-breaking birthday bash. Earlier this year, she paid tribute to her "superhero" mother, who is an NHS worker on the frontline of the pandemic.