As the coronavirus crisis continues to worsen, the government are being forced to introduce increasingly strict rules surrounding hospitality, educ
As the coronavirus crisis continues to worsen, the government are being forced to introduce increasingly strict rules surrounding hospitality, education and travel.
And while many Brits remain at home with social media accounts as a key form of entertainment, Instagram feeds are littered with a legion of snaps of the great and good of the reality TV world – including stars of TOWIE, Love Island and Geordie Shore – soaking up the sun around the globe.
Most notably and widely-discussed is undoubtedly the descent of the reality world on Dubai, as the United Arab Emirates has played host to a number of stars over the past year, despite the consistent rules throughout advising against international travel, save for work and education.
Amid yacht trips and wild nights out, a host of stars, including TOWIE’s Amber Turner, Dan Edgar, Yazmin Oukhellou and James Lock, have all maintained their trips have been for business purposes with many confirming their work plans on social media or to publications through their representatives.
On December 20, London and surrounding areas were plunged into Tier 4, which saw travel abroad for leisure banned, with exceptions only allowed for reasons such as work, education and childcare, however Vogue Williams and her husband Spencer Matthews were spotted on a family holiday to St. Barts on Monday.
The latest celebrity jaunts come amid warnings England could be plunged into ‘Tier 5’ restrictions within days after scientists were said to have advised Boris Johnson to impose tougher measures than those in November’s lockdown – with secondary schools, pubs and non-essential shops shut.
Hot spot: Dubai has been the primary hot spot for reality star ‘business trips’, rule-bending and hard-partying throughout the pandemic, and stars continue to flock to the United Arab Emirates despite soaring infection rates
DUBAI: The Visitors
Georgia Steel, Kaz Crossley, Joanna Chimonides, Francesca Allen, Amber Gill, Malin Andersson, Theo Campbell, Molly-Mae Hague, Tommy Fury, Maura Higgins, Chris Taylor, Amber Davies, Elle Brown, Laura Anderson, Hayley Hughes, Jess and Eve Gale, Arabella Chi, Demi Jones and Wes Nelson
Amber Turner, Dan Edgar, Yazmin Oukhellou, James Lock, Kelsey Stratford and Ella Rae Wise
Chloe Ferry, Bethan Kershaw and Sophie Kasaei
Amir Khan and Faryal Makhdoom, Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy
Dubai has been the primary hot spot for reality star ‘business trips’, rule-bending and hard-partying throughout the pandemic, and stars continue to flock to the United Arab Emirates despite soaring infection rates.
Known for its glamorous nightlife and popping beach clubs, the city is typically a reality star haunt and many members of the TV world were not letting a deadly pandemic stop them living their Grey Goose-drenched, bedazzled lifestyle in the sizzling climes of the UAE.
Social media has been awash with daily arrivals into the city.
On Monday, Georgia Steel became the latest reality star to escape the UK’s coronavirus restrictions as she jetted off to Dubai.
The Love Island star, 22, shared a series of snaps taken in Manchester Airport as she prepared to go on a post-Christmas trip amid the city’s Tier 3 status and guidelines – instructing against non-essential travel.
Her pal and co-star Hayley Hughes joined her in sharing boastful posts about the trip, including an image in her Business Class plane seat, before documenting her arrival on Instagram Stories.
Georgia and Hayley were preparing to join fellow Love Islanders Joanna Chimonides and Francesa Allen, amid growing fury over reality stars ‘bending rules’ while the UK remains in partial lockdown.
Georgia’s trip comes after Yazmin Oukhellou and James Lock fled Tier 4 for ‘business’.
Yazmin addressed criticism over their trip by explaining the break was for work, as she is launching a business in Dubai, as she revealed: ‘Obviously we’ll make the most of it while we’re here as well. But we are here for business purposes.’.
Elsewhere, Abbey Clancy showed off lavish snaps from her festive family getaway to Dubai on Tuesday as she gushed over how ‘lucky’ she was to have had a ‘wonderful Christmas’.
Enjoying yourself girls? On Monday, Georgia Steel and Hayley Hughes – of Love Island fame – were the latest stars to jet to Dubai as they headed out to meet a host of their co-stars
No idea: Amber Gill, another Love Island star, claimed that she was confused by the new restrictions, after jetting to Dubai at the last-minute, confessing: ‘I have no idea what I’m doing!’
Taking to Instagram, the model, 34, ‘disappointed’ some of her fans as she posted a collection of photos with her husband Peter Crouch, their four children and friends while much of the UK remains in Tier 4 .
Abbey revealed that the family had stayed at the five-star hotel, Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, during their Dubai getaway.
MailOnline understands the couple and their children flew to the UAE on December 14, before Tier 4 travel rules came into force, and returned to the UK on December 26.
Amber Gill, another Love Island star, claimed that she was confused by the new restrictions, after jetting to Dubai at the last-minute, confessing: ‘I have no idea what I’m doing!’
Amber, who was joined by Kaz Crossley, insisted her trip to Dubai was arranged ‘way before’ news rules were introduced, as she wrote: ‘Just want to put it out there. I had no idea tier 4 was a thing…
‘The flight here was booked way before I thought the changes were being made, on the 16th, meaning I was still allowed to travel for work…
I have no idea what I’m doing. I was only supposed to be here for 4 days. Now I don’t know where I’m supposed to go or if I should stay here. It’s all mad.’
Hard at it: As embattled Brits stay at home, Yazmin revealed she was headed off on a business trip
Exciting: Amber and boyfriend Dan Edgar shared multiple updates from their trip as they flew out of London’s Heathrow Airport for an ‘exciting business venture’
Amber Turner meanwhile and her boyfriend Dan Edgar shared multiple updates from their trip as they flew out of London’s Heathrow Airport for an ‘exciting business venture’.
Amber revealed they had both had a coronavirus test before travelling, which came back negative, and they also had an antibody test to see if they had ever had Covid-19, which too came back negative.
After posting several updates from the airport and their flight, Amber revealed that they had landed in Dubai and were back at her ‘favourite’ Palm Jumeirah.
Dan’s representative previously told MailOnline: ‘Dan has had to go to Dubai for an exciting business venture that is soon to released.
Travelling to Dubai from the UK: what are the rules?
- As of Sunday 20th December, if you live in a Tier 4 area, you can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home
- If you live outside a Tier 4 area you may still transit into or through a Tier 4 area to travel abroad if you need to, but you should carefully consider whether you need to do so
- In addition, you should follow the public health advice in the country you’re visiting and should look at the rules in place at your destination and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) travel advice
- UK residents currently abroad do not need to return home immediately. However, you should check with your airline or travel operator on arrangements for returning
- For foreign nationals, if you are a resident in a Tier 4 area you are subject to the ‘Stay at Home’ regulations.
- You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted If you are visiting the UK and are in a Tier 4 area, you may return home
- You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination
- Dubai is one of around ten countries which are now welcoming Brits without a quarantine on either side
- Visitors must be required to fill out a ‘health declaration’ form and provide valid health insurance on arrival
- Brits must present a negative PCR test result from within the past 96 hours, or take a test at the airport
Holiday: Abbey Clancy showed off lavish snaps from her festive family getaway to Dubai on Tuesday as she gushed over how ‘lucky’ she was to have had a ‘wonderful Christmas’
‘This is something that Dan has been working extremely hard over the past few years on and if it wasn’t essential for Dan & Amber to attend they would have stayed back in the UK.’
The couple then returned home to Essex, currently under Tier 4 restrictions, for Christmas.
In further reality jaunts, Molly-Mae Hague hit back at online criticism, after she was slammed for jetting off to the Maldives.
The 21-year-old Love Island star – who flew to the idyllic islands with beau Tommy Fury, also 21, following a break in Dubai – has insisted she didn’t break any rules, as the couple left their Manchester home under Tier 2 COVID-19 restrictions.
Taking to Instagram, the influencer revealed that she had been inundated with angry messages as she admitted she couldn’t ‘wrap [her] head around’ the draconian limits of Tier 4, particularly when Christmas was approaching.
Children: Other pictures showed Peter, their children and friends posing on the beach or by the hotel’s luxury swimming pool
Defense: Molly-Mae Hague hit back at online criticism, after she was slammed for jetting off to the Maldives as millions of Britons are plunged into a Tier 4 lockdown
Further Dubai trips saw Amir Khan breach Covid-19 regulations again after meeting up-close a senior Pakistani politician who tested positive for the virus just 48 hours later.
Khan shook hands and posed for pictures with Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab province, during a high-profile boxing event on 19 December that he helped organise in the country.
But instead of adhering to rules for those who come into contact with anyone testing positive, Khan jetted off to Dubai where he warmly embraced Cristiano Ronaldo at an awards ceremony on Sunday.
Under the rules, Khan should have been maintaining a two-metre distance and wearing a face mask wherever possible. Those exhibiting symptoms are required to get a test.
Khan had been in Pakistan for a series of high-profile boxing bouts which took place at the Governor’s House in Lahore. He was also accompanied by his wife Faryal Makhdoom who stood next to Mr Buzdar for the cameras.
Just a week after the Chief Minister tested positive, Khan headed off to Dubai for the Globe Soccer Awards, posting a picture on his Instagram account in which he and Ronaldo are warmly clutching hands with the footballer placing his arm around him.
Event: Instead of adhering to rules for those who come into contact with anyone testing positive, Khan jetted off to Dubai where he warmly embraced Cristiano Ronaldo at an awards ceremony on Sunday
Away from Dubai, the usual celebrity-magnet shores of the Caribbean have been lit up with celebrities despite the pandemic, with a sighting on Vogue Williams causing shockwaves on Monday.
Vogue flouted Tier 4 rules by flying to St. Barts for a holiday, eight days after London was plunged into Tier 4. The star – who lives in Battersea, London, with husband Spencer Matthews and their two children – looked happy as she enjoyed a beach jog in the French Caribbean, despite rules advising against all but essential travel.
Vogue was last spotted in London hours after the capital entered into Tier 4 restrictions on Sunday, December 20.
Sporty: Away from Dubai, the usual celebrity-magnet shores of the Caribbean have been lit up with celebrities despite the pandemic, with a sighting on Vogue Williams causing shockwaves on Monday.
The outing comes little over a week since Vogue lamented the new restrictions – and expressed her sadness that she would not make it home to Ireland for Christmas. Vogue was accompanied by a shirtless pal as she got her morning exercise in, with son Theodore, two, and mother-in-law Jane Matthews watching on.
An active social media user, the star has thus far, made no mention of her trip on Instagram. Vogue’s husband Spencer and their daughter Gigi, five months, were not seen at the beach.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Vogue Williams for comment.
Vogue is a frequent visitor to St. Barts as husband Spencer Matthews’ parents own the five-star Eden Rock hotel on the island. Travel exceptions are only allowed for reasons such as work, education and childcare. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against all but essential travel to St Martin and St Barts.
But where was she? Vogue shared a sweet snap with her children on Christmas Eve but it is unclear what country she was in
All travellers over the age of 11 must undertake an obligatory test for COVID-19 within 72 hours before departure for St Martin & St Barthélemy. The traveller must show proof of a negative result before embarking.
Love Island star Montana Brown meanwhile has been living it up with her family in Barbados, just weeks after her jaunt to the Maldives to shoot a campaign for her swimwear collection.
Before jetting out to the Caribbean, Montana considerately asked her Instagram followers whether they would like her to share content from the trip due to the current restrictions in the UK. The overwhelming majority voted yes, so Montana has been sharing an insight into her holiday.
Wow: Montana Brown looked incredible as she enjoyed a relaxing catamaran trip on Monday during her Barbados getaway
Last month, the Economics graduate hit back at critics who slammed her business trip to the Maldives in the midst of the ongoing pandemic and during a nationwide lockdown.
Stressing she had carefully planned her trip to abide by guidelines, a spokesperson said: ‘Montana is in the Maldives for work purposes shooting her campaign for her company Swim Society. This is allowed under government guidelines.’
In a YouTube video shared by Montana ahead of the trip, the TV star joined her business partner in explaining: ‘Everybody has been isolating, I’m not going out. The quarantine coming back from the Maldives has been lifted.’
Made In Chelsea stars Lucy and Tiffany Watson jetted off to Barbados alongside the former’s fiancé James Dunmore shortly before London was plunged into Tier 4.
Barbados break: Tiffany and Lucy Watson looked incredible as they enjoyed an idyllic day at sea on Boxing Day
Government guidelines for international travel currently state: ‘Following identification of a new variant of the virus, international travel from your area may be increasingly restricted because of domestic regulations…
‘Different rules apply in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For example, those in tier 4 areas in England will not be permitted to travel abroad apart from limited exceptions, such as work purposes. Follow all the rules that apply to you.’
The general travel advice on the Gov.uk site reads: ‘We continue to advise against all non-essential international travel to some countries and territories. You should check the country page for your destination….
‘We are monitoring the international situation very closely and keeping this advice under constant review so that it reflects our latest assessment of risks to British people. We take a range of factors into account. For coronavirus, this includes the incidence rate and the resilience of healthcare provision in each country.’