‘I felt guilty the whole time’: Love Island’s Laura Anderson claims flying to Dubai was ‘a coping mechanism’ during lockdown… as Priti Patel slams influencers for ‘showing off’
Laura Anderson has insisted that flying to Dubai was ‘a coping mechanism’ during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Love Island star, 31, said she ‘felt guilty the whole time’ she was away after claiming she’d flown to the UAE for a ‘business trip’ following backlash towards influencers bending travel restrictions to fly abroad.
Laura’s comments as Home Secretary Priti Patel also took aim at influencers for ‘showing off in sunny parts of the world’ in Parliament on Wednesday, insisting that given the pandemic people ‘shouldn’t go going on holiday right now.’
I felt guilty! Laura Anderson has insisted that flying to Dubai was ‘a coping mechanism’ during the COVID-19 pandemic after facing backlash for claiming her break was a ‘work trip’
Laura, who has since returned to the UK, shared her thoughts on the backlash during an Instagram Q and A, after being asked whether she felt guilty about being in Dubai.
She said: ‘I felt guilty the whole time. I don’t think anyone realised how bad the strain would get, and how quickly. So hearing people upset, I felt horrific.’
In a caption on the post she added: ‘The backlash was horrendous and still is. I don’t expect anyone to understand my situation.
‘I apologise to everyone I’ve upset, I truly mean that as it was never my intention.’
Fuming: Laura’s comments as Home Secretary Priti Patel also took aim at influencers for ‘showing off in sunny parts of the world’ in Parliament on Wednesday
It was tough! The Love Island star said she ‘felt guilty the whole time’ she was away after claiming she’d flown to the UAE for a ‘business trip’
Her comments came as Home Secretary Priti Patel also slammed influencers for brazenly jetting abroad despite government guidelines banning international travel.
She was detailing new plans introduced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have travellers to the UK from 22 ‘red list’ countries quarantine in hotels for 10 days.
Speaking in the House of Commons Patel said: ‘There are travel bans in place for countries that are rest listed and that will continue.
‘The announcement today will also reduce the number of travelling passengers. I do what to emphasis that because people should simply not be travelling.
‘We see the examples, I will call some of them out, border force have given me examples.
Controversy: Laura was previously forced to delete some of the comments on her recent sun-soaked bikini snaps after receiving backlash for sharing her exploits
‘Even at St Pancras people have been turning up with their skis, which is clearly not acceptable.
“We see plenty of influencers on social media showing off about which parts of the world that they are in, mainly in sunny parts of the world. Going on holiday is not an exemption and it is important that people stay at home.’
Government sources have told MailOnline that the United Arab Emirates, where many social media stars have jetted off during lockdown, is looking less likely to appear on the list of quarantine countries.
Expats working in Dubai and following the rules have now accused influencers of ‘taking the f***ing p***’ by claiming they are in the city for work, and risking spreading the virus by partying and flouting social distancing.
Raging: Stars such as Sophie Kasaei (pictured) have faced backlash for bending government guidelines and claiming their holidays to Dubai were for ‘work reasons’
An agent, whose client had travelled to Dubai, told the Mirror earlier this month: ‘We manage their social media accounts and I’ve seen a number of death threats in direct messages.
‘It’s been relentless. We warned them not to travel abroad while a lot of the nation is under severe restrictions as it’s a terrible look, but they ignored it.’
Laura was previously forced to delete some of the comments on her recent sun-soaked bikini snaps after receiving backlash for sharing her exploits.
The TV star addressed the negativity on her Stories, as she admitted some would be put off becoming an influencer after learning the realities.
Amid mounting criticism towards influencers and reality stars who have jetted to abroad on ‘business trips’ to escape the strict UK lockdown, Laura said: ‘This whole thing about everyone hating influencers, I’m just like f**k.. this is what I do for a job at the minute. I don’t want to feel c**p.
‘I’m thinking maybe, would it be a good idea to give more of an insight into the reality of being an influencer.
‘I think a lot of young people might want to do it, but you realise it’s not that great when you see the reality of it. I saw someone in my comments saying you’re on holiday, but when you’re working you’re not on holiday.
‘On holiday doesn’t mean just in the sun. I want people to understand then maybe they won’t get as annoyed, it’s not just right now, all the time.
‘I remember when Molly-Mae went into the villa everyone was like omg she’s an influencer, as it if was a negative thing. I thought it would be a good idea to give an insight so people don’t hate it as much and realise how hard it is.’
Poor me! The TV star addressed the negativity on her Stories insisting her job as an influencer is ‘hard’ and she ‘feels c**p’ after being hit by online criticism
Angry expats tell MailOnline: British influencers in Dubai to dodge lockdown are ‘taking the f***ing p***’
Expats in Dubai have told MailOnline they are furious about the number of celebrity influencers coming to the city ‘for work’.
Dubai had been an ideal choice for many as visitors at the time weren’t required to quarantine upon their return to the UK.
Many stars have insisted their trips are for ‘work’ with the government asking UK residents to avoid unnecessary travel.
One expat told MailOnline: ‘They’re taking the f***ing p***’.
Lauren Morgan, who moved to the city with her husband in January 2020, said: ‘All the ‘influencers’ coming out to Dubai for ‘work’ has made me so angry, using loop holes to holiday and potentially spreading the virus. Especially as they’re all partying in ridiculous circumstances where social distancing isn’t being observed and rules are not being followed by people from the UK (and I’m sure many others) who have not had to follow the same strict rules as we have in Dubai since March 2020 and is now a way of life to wear a mask and keep your distance and minimise socialising/large group gatherings’.
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