The singer admitted she had been at a “small gathering” with friends to celebrate her milestone birthday, after photos of people leaving the event at a west London restaurant on Saturday were published in the press.
Scotland Yard later confirmed that officers had been called to an address in Notting Hill amid a breach of Covid regulations, with Downing Street also issuing a warning to celebrities flouting coronavirus rules.
Posting an apology on Instagram, Rita said it was an “inexcusable error of judgment”.
She wrote: “Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.
“It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK…
“I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.
“This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgment.
“Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
“I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe.
“Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.”
A No.10 spokesperson said prime minister Boris Johnson was “clear” that everyone needs to follow the restrictions, “including celebrities”, stressing that “it’s up to police to decide what action to take” if they are broken.
This statement was also given after controversial actor Laurence Fox was condemned on social media after boasting of having a “large group” over for lunch, where they “hugged, ate and put the world to rights”.
Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan also called Laurence’s actions “ridiculous” and “reckless” saying it “epitomises the attitude of a small minority of people in this country who just don’t think this virus is for them”.