Professor Neil Ferguson, the scientist whose research helped usher in the lockdown in Britain, has resigned from his role as a key UK Government adviser after admitting that he had undermined social distancing rules by reportedly meeting his “lover” at his home.
But Prof Ferguson is not the first prominent figure to be caught breaching social-distancing restrictions amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the other prominent names who have been in the spotlight for flouting local lockdown measures.
– Dr Catherine Calderwood
Scotland’s chief medical officer resigned in April after twice breaking lockdown restrictions in order to visit her second home, which was located more than an hour away from her main residence in Edinburgh.
Despite Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon backing Dr Calderwood to remain in her position, she ultimately decided to relinquish her role so as not to be a “distraction” from the Government’s social-distancing message.
– Robert Jenrick
The housing, communities and local government secretary in the UK was forced to explain himself after travelling more than an hour to visit his parents despite warning people to remain at home.
Mr Jenrick was also criticised for travelling 150 miles from his London property to his Herefordshire home from where he travelled to his parents in Shropshire.
However, he defended his actions, saying he went to deliver food and medicine to his isolating parents.
– Stephen Kinnock
The MP for Aberavon in South Wales was publicly shamed by police after travelling to London to celebrate his father’s birthday.
After Mr Kinnock posted a photo on Twitter of himself practicing social distancing with his parents outside their home, South Wales Police replied: “We know celebrating your Dad’s birthday is a lovely thing to do, however this is not essential travel. We all have our part to play in this, we urge you to comply with (lockdown) restrictions, they are in place to keep us all safe. Thank you.”
– Dr David Clark
The New Zealand politician branded himself an “idiot” for driving his family 20km to the beach on the first weekend of the country’s national stay-at-home measures.
That incident came a week after he was photographed going for a mountain bike ride 2km away from his family home in Dunedin on New Zealand’s south island.
Although the health minister offered his resignation to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, she instead opted to demote him to the bottom of the Government’s Cabinet rankings.
– Marcos Rojo
It is not just politicians who have found themselves in hot water over social distancing breaches as the Manchester United defender was recently filmed appearing to flout Argentina’s coronavirus lockdown rules.
The 30-year-old, on loan at Estudiantes, was seen playing cards and smoking with friends in his homeland in a video on Instagram.
– Kyle Walker
The Manchester City and England full-back was forced to apologise in April after it was widely reported he held a party at his Cheshire home in a blatant violation of the nation’s lockdown measures.
The club has promised the 29-year-old will also be subject to an “internal disciplinary procedure”.