Zara Holland has broken her silence on breaking Barbados’ coronavirus laws through her lawyer.
The Love Island star, 25, was caught trying to flee the country with her boyfriend Elliot Love, who had tested positive for coronavirus.
She has avoided being jailed but has received a £4,417 fine ($12,000 Barbados dollars).
Zara blamed her actions on a “foolish error” and looked relieved as she was told she wouldn’t be going to jail.
At the District ‘D’ Magistrates Court on Wednesday Zara pleaded guilty to leaving the Sugar Bay hotel on December 29 while she was under quarantine.
Chief magistrate Ian Weekes admonished her for breaking the nation’s tough rules that have prevented the holiday island being overrun by the virus.
“We cannot tolerate that you breached the quarantine protocol,” he said. “You had been told to stay at your hotel and you should have done that.”
Her lawyer Andrew Pilgrim blamed her “lapse” on a “foolish error,” telling the court she had two negative tests and became extremely nervous about her and Love’s status in Barbados, which is why she decided to try and leave the island.
Love had already tested positive for Covid when the pair bought return flights to the UK.
He told the court Zara was involved in a lot of charity work in the UK, including helping children with cancer, and also helped with transportation for people in need.
Pilgrim said she had the utmost respect for the people of Barbados and had been holidaying on the island twice a year for the last six years.
Zara kept silent as she left court but stood beside Mr Pilgrim as he said: “We accepted the decision of the court.
“Miss Holland wants to express her sincere apologies to the entire nation of Barbados. At this point we have no further comment.”
The former Miss Great Britain, from North Ferriby, East Yorkshire, could have been jailed for up to a year in prison and been fined £18,000.
She appeared before Mr Weekes, who is usually known for his tough stance against Covid rule breakers.
Only last week he jailed a fellow tourist for six months for breaching quarantine regulations.
Her boyfriend is still being confined at the island’s Paragon Military Base, which has been turned into a coronavirus quarantine centre.
Only when he has tested negative will he be questioned by police and learn his fate.
He tested positive for Covid after arriving on the island last Sunday and the couple were given red wristbands and told to remain in their room at the £300-a-night Sugar Bay until they were taken to a quarantine centre on the north of the island.
Instead, they booked would have been a British Airways flight back to the UK packed with fellow British holiday makers, cut off their wristbands and took a taxi to the airport where, according to a local source, their names raised some red flags with airport officials because of their short turnaround time in the country.
They were arrested by police at Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport as they made their way to departures after surveillance cameras captured the pair entering public bathrooms and exiting wearing different clothing.
After her alleged rule breach made headlines, Zara issued an apology to Barbados Today for her actions saying: “I wish to apologise to the entire country of Barbados for what has been a massive mix up and misunderstanding.”
She added: “I am currently working closely with the local authorities to rectify any issues on my part and will issue an update and full statement which I think is the only right thing to do to the Government and citizens of Barbados.
“I have been a guest of this lovely island in excess of 20 years and would never do anything to jeopardise an entire nation that I have nothing but loved and respect for and which has treated me as a family.”