An influencer who travelled to Dubai from the UK during the coronavirus pandemic has caused outrage by calling her trip ‘essential’.
Sheridan Mordew jetted off to Dubai at the beginning of January, even though people in the UK were asked to stay at home and avoid essential travel.
In an interview on UK show This Morning, Sheridan said the trip was necessary for her "mental health".
Hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby grilled the 24-year-old on her trip, asking her why she couldn’t just make content for her Shape Up With Sher business from her home in the UK.
"The reason I came out to Dubai was purely for business, I'm a personal trainer - a lot of gyms have closed, so basically I took my online business over to Dubai and now I do things in my apartment,” she said.
"I used to do it in Britain but now I do it in Dubai, so it's exactly the same."
Sheridan, who has 13,000 followers on her business Instagram account said her mental health was suffering and her clients rely on her to bring them happiness.
"Obviously during the second lockdown I was really struggling, a lot of my clients depend on me to bring them motivation and happiness,” she said.
"As the third lockdown was coming in I thought: 'Well, my mental health is suffering, I'm not going to start something new just sitting in this house…' - I had this idea but I could not be bothered.
"With my own struggles, I thought the only way I'm going to get out of this is if I get on the plane for essential travel and go to Dubai."
When questioned on why she was ‘kind of encouraging’ others to travel when the NHS is struggling to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, Sheridan said she wasn’t encouraging anyone to travel but simply to motivate them to get moving in their houses.
People online were furious with Sheridan for refusing to back down during the interview.
“Influence people to follow the guidelines if you're that powerful and important... stay at home,” one person wrote.
“Fitness 'influencer' Joe Wicks is inspiring and motivating the nation AT HOME and doing a pretty amazing job of it! No excuse to be travelling for that and definitely not essential,” another person said.
“No! No one should be travelling, there would be no one left in England if we were all dealing with our mental health. We would all love to escape this nightmare!! But we have all been told to stay at home,” a commenter wrote.
“Who is she trying to delude - makes a mockery of the true key workers,” an outraged commenter said.
“Any excuse to go on holiday while the rest of us follow the rules. They are NOT key workers. What a cheek to put themselves in the same category as nurses etc. Fine them all heavily,” a commenter wrote.
Sheridan has previously taken to her Instagram account to reveal her reasons for travelling overseas while COVID-19 wreaks havoc on the UK.
“During the second lockdown I really mentally struggled, my bubbly, old positive self was slipping away due to gym closures/unable to plan my future and unable to physically train my girls.(My favourite buzz ever!),” she wrote.
“I gained 10lb, and couldn’t really be bothered to do anything (not like we could in anyway).
“To stop my mental health and business potentially declining, I had to create a focus to distract negative thoughts. I’m 💯 more motivated/creative in the 🌞. How can I expect to motivate others if I can’t motivate myself?
“So, I caught the next flight out to surround myself in vitamin D and ultimately help my girls. Truthfully, without taking a little risk and following my heart. I probably would still be in that little dark place.”
The UK marked 100,000 COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic yesterday.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was "deeply sorry" for every life lost but he insisted his government did "everything we could" to minimise deaths and suffering.
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