Detail in influencer’s bikini pic sparks COVID outrage

Gillian Wolski
·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

A UK influencer has copped backlash, and even accusations of ‘breaking’ COVID-19 rules by angry social media users, after going on holiday to the Caribbean during the country’s worst virus outbreak to date.

Former Made In Chelsea star, Lucy Watson, sparked outrage on Tuesday when she shared a pic of herself posing poolside in an itsy-bitsy black bikini in Barbados.

One small detail in Made In Chelsea star Lucy Watson's latest bikini pic has sparked outrage. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
One small detail in Made In Chelsea star Lucy Watson's latest bikini pic has sparked outrage. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.

An eagle-eyed Instagram user was quick to spot a telling detail in the 29-year-old’s swimsuit snap, honing in on a bright red band on her wrist.

“Does the red band mean you’ve tested positive and should be quarantining [sic] in Barbados? (Inside a hotel room)?” the person asked in the comments.

“This situation is all over time [sic] news currently as Brits have gone over and not followed the strict rules they have in place,” they added.

Lucy responded, clarifying that both her and her fiancé, James Dunmore, had followed local pandemic protocol — such as being tested — since they arrived.

“I shot these pics when I first landed, everyone is given a red band when they land until they get a negative test result which we did 3 days later so don’t worry!!” she replied.

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One fan spotted Lucy's red wristband and asked her to explain what it meant. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
One fan spotted Lucy's red wristband and asked her to explain what it meant. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
Detail in influencer’s bikini pic sparks COVID outrage. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
Lucy clarified a follower's questions about the red wristband. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.

‘Nobody should be travelling’

She also confirmed that the pair were staying in a ‘private home’ instead of a hotel which meant they weren’t required to quarantine inside their room.

“Also I will point out we are staying in a private home that is quarantine approved (by the government) and therefore did not have to stay in a hotel room,” she added.

Lucy went on to agree with another user who remarked that it was a ‘shame’ that other tourists weren’t obeying the rules because “now the island has hundreds of infections”.

Some commenters called Lucy out for leaving England in the first place considering the fact that the Tier 3 restrictions that were in place when she left discouraged Brits from travelling abroad.

“This isn’t personal but nobody should be traveling internationally at the moment, regardless of whether the [government] allows it,” one user said.

Others stepped in to defend Lucy, with one writing, “Ffs...give it a rest ‘Karens’!!!’

“Omg just saw your stories on people giving you a hard time ignore them! They’re just jealous,” another added.

Detail in influencer’s bikini pic sparks COVID outrage. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
She pointed out that she was staying in a 'private home' not a hotel. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
Lucy and her fiancé James holidayed in Greece in September 2020. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
Lucy and her fiancé James holidayed in Greece in September 2020. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.

No hate

Lucy later took to her Instagram Stories to post a lengthy response to the backlash, saying that while she understands why many are frustrated she won’t put up with ‘hateful comments’.

“I understand people are angry, upset and frustrated at the moment. These are unpredictable and unfortunate times, with disappointment around every corner.

“However, I will not accept anyone taking out their frustration on me, be it during a pandemic or not. Hateful comments will be deleted and always have been, regardless of their relation to Covid.”

She went on to emphatically state that she has not ‘broken the rules’ and explain that she departed London before Prime Minister Boris Johnson introduced strict Tier 4 regulations that required residents to stay home.

Detail in influencer’s bikini pic sparks COVID outrage. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.
Lucy responded to the backlash in a lengthy post to her Instagram Stories. Photo: Instagram/lucywatson.

“I want my feed to be a positive place, and although some people feel like I've broken the rules, I have not.

“I left London pre tier 4 and followed all necessary precautions in Barbados. I was and am still negative for Covid. I've 3 tests in the last 3 weeks.”

Lucy denied accusations that the Barbados getaway was ‘a last minute trip to escape the UK,’ instead claiming that the trip had been ‘booked for nearly a year’.

“Regardless of the above, I truly hope I have not offended anyone, that is never my intention. Please take care of yourself and your mental health. We will get through this,” she concluded her message.

Under Tier 4 restrictions which began on December 20, residents of London and parts of Essex, Hertfordshire and Surrey were instructed, “Do not enter or leave Tier 4 areas or stay overnight away from home.”

Following the news that one in 50 Brits now have COVID, PM Johnson placed the whole of England into a blanket lockdown on January 4, a mandate that won't be reviewed until at least mid-February.

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