“Love Island” star and former Miss Great Britain Zara Holland was slapped with a roughly $6,000 fine – but spared a prison sentence — for trying to leave Barbados with her boyfriend after he tested positive for the coronavirus, according to reports.
Holland, 25, pleaded guilty to breaching a COVID-19 directive by leaving the swanky Sugar Bay Barbados resort, where she was staying pending the results of her test, The Sun reported.
She and her beau, Elliott Love, were caught when they tried to board a plane to the UK to avoid being taken to a quarantine facility.
Holland and Love were tested when they arrived on the island on Dec. 27 and ordered to isolate in their hotel room to await the results. When his result came back positive, they were given red wristbands and told they would be taken to a quarantine center.
Holland, who faced up to a year in the slammer, was warned by Magistrate Ian Weekes that she would be jailed for nine months if she did not pay the fine within a week, the Daily Mail reported.
After the hearing, her lawyer Andrew Pilgrim blamed her “lapse” in judgment on a “foolish error,” according to the outlet.
He said she had received two negative test results before arriving on the island, but that after Love tested positive she became very nervous when they were told to quarantine at the hotel.
That led to the lovebirds’ “foolish” decision to try to leave, he explained, adding that Holland had the upmost respect for the people of Barbados and had been visiting the Caribbean getaway twice a year for the last six years.
The magistrate countered: “You can’t operate on the belief you are in charge and you can do as you like.
“Even though you receive negative test results it is vital that you understand you have to be given clearance,” Weekes added.
Pilgrim presented a financial statement to the court proving his client had the ability to pay the fine, but said she could not pay it immediately since a UK bank transfer had not yet cleared in Barbados, according to the Daily Mail.
Holland — who breathed a sigh of relief at not being jailed — was released on bail set at £7,355, about $10,000, and will be free to leave the island once her fine is paid.
“We accept 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,” her lawyer said outside the court.
Many people reacted to Holland’s penalty as a slap on the wrist and compared her sentence to a Jamaican tourist jailed for six months for breaking the island’s rules to “buy Fanta” and snacks a month ago, The Sun reported.