Royals and reality TV stars: famous Covid rulebreakers

Paris (AFP) – From reality TV star Kim Kardashian to the Dutch royals and now tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, a slew of politicians and celebrities have found themselves in hot water for falling foul of Covid etiquette.


Here are some of the most famous offenders:

Selfie schtick

South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa broke social distancing rules to pose for a selfie with two women who approached him in the street in May 2020.

Laughing, he joked: "Come before we get arrested."

He wasn't arrested but the video went viral sparking outrage.

Party on

Paraguay's deputy health minister Juan Carlos Portillo resigned after he was filmed at a party in June 2020 just after he had helped bring in new restrictions.

Downing Street follies

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's top adviser Dominic Cummings caused uproar in Britain after breaching lockdown rules in May 2020 to travel the length of England to be with his parents.

He later said he took another trip in a car to "check his eyesight" before eventually being forced to step down.

It was to be the first of a long line of Covid-related scandals to rock Johnson and his government.

Kiss me quick

British Health minister Matt Hancock resigned for breaking the Covid rules he had himself set after being caught on film in a steamy clinch with his mistress in his ministry in June 2020.

Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is the latest celebrity to fall foul of Covid rules
Tennis superstar Novak Djokovic is the latest celebrity to fall foul of Covid rules Kelly Defina POOL/AFP

Parties and quizzes

Johnson has since been undermined by a long string of revelations about boozy parties and quizzes at Number 10 that were allegedly in breach of the rules, with the prime minister photographed at one in his garden.

His father Stanley has also been caught not wearing a face mask and flying to his villa in Greece when only non-essential travel was permitted, claiming he went to make it "Covid-safe".

Royal pardon

The Dutch royal family had to apologise last month when they invited 21 people to celebrate the 18th birthday of future queen Princess Amalia when only four were allowed.

It was one of a string of Covid faux pas committed by the House of Orange with King Willem-Alexander repeatedly breaking social distancing rules by shaking hands and the family going on holiday to Greece during a partial lockdown.

Kardashian birthday bash

Reality television star Kim Kardashian sparked anger in October 2020 by throwing a party on a private island to celebrate her 40th birthday, with photos showing revellers without masks.

Costly meal

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki apologised in May 2020 after posing for official photographs with staff in a restaurant when his own advice to others was to dine out only with close family.

Jack Hill POOL/AFP

Irish golf gala

European trade commissioner Phil Hogan was forced to resign in August 2020 along with two senior Irish politicians after they attended a parliamentary golf gala dinner for 80 when only six people were allowed to meet indoors.

The head of the country's tourism board Catherine Martin was also forced to quit after going for a break in Italy when people were being told to holiday at home.

'Bad mistake'

California governor Gavin Newsom was forced to admit he made a "bad mistake" in November 2020 by attending a friend's birthday dinner during a spike in cases.

Match halted

A hugely anticipated clash between South American football giants Brazil and Argentina had to be halted in September after five minutes with officials claiming four Argentine players based in England had given them false information to get around Covid rules.