Pop star Rita Ora flouts Covid-19 lockdown rules for Cairo gig

Pop star Rita Ora flouts Covid-19 lockdown rules for Cairo gig
The 30-year-old singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at an event, where Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi was present.
3 min read
06 December, 2020
British singer Rita Ora breached Covid-19 lockdown rules [Getty]
British singer Rita Ora breached Covid-19 lockdown rules after she was paid to travel to Egypt for a private event, prompting outrage upon her return to the UK.

The 30-year-old singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel.

Among those present at the event was the Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, according to The Mail on Sunday.

After returning home, the singer was required to self-isolated for 14 days in line with Covid-19 rules, but instead she threw a birthday party at a London restaurant.

In a statement, Ora said: "I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities. 

"Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed Government advice and isolated myself for the required period. 

"As you know, I didn’t follow Government advice and I apologise again, unreservedly. 

"While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example. 

"My message to them is simple: please don’t. The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it." 

This was the second apology Ora gave this week, after news of her 30th birthday bash broke earlier this week, prompting her to speak out.

Writing on the social media platform Instagram, Ora called the party, which involved around 30 guests, a "serious and inexcusable error of judgement".

"It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK," Ora wrote on Instagram.

"I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness.

"Even though this won't make it right, I want to sincerely apologise," she added.

London police confirmed that officers had been called to Notting Hill, where the birthday bash took place, over a breach of Covid-19 regulations.

"Officers continue to assess the allegations and are liaising with the local authority regarding a potential breach of regulations at the premises. Enquiries continue," a Metropolitan police statement said. 

The singer of hits that include "Let You Love Me" and "How to Be Lonely" has volunteered to pay a fine.

Police in England can issue fines of up to £10,000 ($13,352, €11,168) for breaches of the lockdown curbs.     

England was placed under four weeks of restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus in November. Individuals were banned from meeting indoors with people from other households.

The lockdown ended on December 2 and was replaced by a tiered system allowing hospitality venues to reopen in certain areas under social distancing rules.

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