Hancock blasts influencers for 'weekends in Dubai' during Covid lockdown as tighter travel restrictions loom

MATT Hancock has blasted influencers for jetting off on holiday to party during the coronavirus lockdown.

The Health Secretary slammed people breaking travel bans for "parties in Paris" and "weekends in Dubai" while the Government continued to urge people to stay at home.

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Speaking on the BBC this morning, Mr Hancock said: "International travel, right now, should not be happening unless it's absolutely necessary.

"No parties in Paris or weekends in Dubai.

"That is not on and in most cases, it's against the law."

The Health Secretary added that a "medical emergency" was one of the exemptions for travelling abroad – before noting that "you've got the best medical services you can possibly have in the world right here in Britain."

Government guidelines for international travel state: "Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home.

"You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so."

This comes as ministers are expected to discuss enforcing stricter rules for travellers, including imposing quarantine hotels for people arriving into the UK.

Matt Hancock also revealed this morning that Britain has 77 cases of the deadly South African mutant Covid strain.

A series of high-profile influencers have faced backlash in recent weeks for travelling abroad during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – and some seemingly flouting former Tier 4 restrictions in order to do so.

It's been revealed that some of the Love Island stars who jetted off to Dubai have lost fans and followers online.

They include Laura Anderson, 31, Anton Danyluk, 25, and 27-year-old Kaz Crossley. 

Between them, the three have been unfollowed by 33,000 people on Instagram.

Series four runner-up Laura, recently sparked fury by moaning it was “really hard” being an influencer while in sun-drenched Dubai.

She lost 12,000 followers but 2019 contestant Anton shed 14,000.

He was among stars who tried to justify being in the United Arab Emirates hotspot by posting a snap of the skyline saying “love my office view”.

Can I travel during lockdown?

  • You can only travel internationally – or within the UK – where you first have a legally permitted reason to leave home.
  • In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting.
  • You should not travel abroad unless it is permitted.
  • This means you must not go on holiday.
  • If you are visiting the UK, you may return home. You should check whether there are any restrictions in place at your destination.

Kaz, a 2018 Love Islander, was unfollowed by 7,000. She said she’d been in Dubai since October and was a resident rather than a tourist.

Last week, another Love Island star Olivia Attwood, 29, blasted their “tone deaf” posts and urged fans to unfollow them.

Reality stars such as Chloe Ferry, Georgia Steel and Laura Anderson can make up to £7,000 just for one sponsored Instagram post – causing many to blast them for not doing their work from the UK.

Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury faced similar backlash shortly before Christmas, although they had jetted off before stricter restrictions were announced – as did Maura Higgins and Chris Taylor.

Geordie Shore's Chloe Ferry also sparked outrage when she posted about how happy she was on her holiday.

Meanwhile, Abbey Clancy was forced to delete her family photos from Christmas and New Year in Dubai with husband Peter Crouch and their children after being trolled.

In addition, Love Island's Zara Holland was arrested and fined in court after she and her coronavirus-positive boyfriend were caught as they tried to flee Barbados to escape quarantine rules.

Brits have been advised to avoid international travel unless necessary for months, but Tier 4 restrictions – which were introduced in December – outright banned people from leaving their local area without good reason.

Meanwhile, UK Covid deaths have grown by 610 but cases have dropped by 22 per cent in a week, with 30,004 new infections in the past 24 hours.

The drop in cases continues a downward trend since the latest lockdown was introduced, but deaths have risen 11 per cent in the last week.

The number of deaths reported is usually lower on a Sunday.

This time last week there were 38,598 new cases and 671 extra deaths.

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