One Rule for Us, Another Rule For Them: The Celebrities Breaking the Coronavirus Restrictions

I don’t know about you, but over the Christmas period it seemed as though many celebrities and influencers managed to have extravagant Christmas holidays abroad, according to Instagram, whilst many of us altered our Christmas plans in line with the Government’s coronavirus restrictions. This blog will look at the unethical practices of these celebrities and influencers.

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Yesterday it was announced that Rita Ora has been quietly dropped from her partnership EE– with Rita recently featuring in a well-recognised advert for EE promoting the new 5G network. This has resulted from Rita’s recent controversy surrounding coronavirus restrictions. Back in November when England was in the second lockdown, which prohibited restaurants from opening to diners, Rita Ora held a birthday party inside London restaurant Casa Cruz with a whole host of celebrity guests. To make matters worse, it was announced that Rita had returned from a trip to Egypt just six days prior to her birthday party, showing she had not self-isolated for 14-days upon her return, further breaking coronavirus restrictions. Rita did make two statements of apology after this, however they were met with criticism from fans due to the publicity of all of the coronavirus restrictions, and Rita Ora’s blatant attempt at trying to get away with breaking the rules. Not only is this dangerous given the current circumstances with the high rate of coronavirus infection in England, but it is also incredibly damaging to Rita Ora’s brand and reputation- with this being evident with her loss of work with EE.

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Rita Ora is not alone in acting in ways where it seems the coronavirus restrictions do not apply to celebrities. Earlier this week, Love Island star Zara Holland flew out to Barbados, and her partner tested positive for coronavirus upon arrival. Instead of quarantining in a specialist centre for two weeks, Zara and her partner escaped and attempted to fly back to England, knowing that both her partner had coronavirus and she had been exposed to it. After being arrested at the airport, under Barbados law, Zara attended court and received a fine of £4,417, which will have to be paid before she can return to England. Zara’s actions were arguably more reckless than Rita’s due to her knowing she had been exposed to someone with a positive result, and her partner attempting to fly home knowing he had tested positive for the virus.  

Furthermore, reality stars and influencers Sam Thompson and Zara McDermott have been accused of trying to deceive fans by editing photographs from their recent trip to the Maldives and making out the photos were taken on a previous trip, or in London, as Zara has been accused of altering the location tags of the photographs. There was controversy surrounding their trip to the Maldives, as they reportedly flew out of England on the 27th of December, which was when London was under tier 4 restrictions, which prevented all but essential travel. This is another example of celebrities acting in ways which imply they believe they are above the coronavirus restrictions, which in turn, undoes the hard work others are putting into following the guidelines and extends our collective recovery to this virus.  

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As well as the three examples of the celebrities flouting restrictions discussed in this blog, there are many other celebrities, influencers, and in fact those not in the public eye, who have behaved similarly in thinking they are above the restrictions. However, the coronavirus situation has shown us it is a joint effort for us all to follow the guidelines, to ensure we can return to normality as soon as possible. What is your opinion of celebrities flouting the coronavirus restrictions- do you think they are being punished enough to deter others from following suit?

Thank you for reading!    

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