By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jan. 5, 2021: More than 3,000 people have signed an online petition calling for former Miss Great Britain, Zara Holland, to be jailed in Barbados.
Holland, who appeared on the hit TV show Love Island in 2016, is set to appear in a Barbados Court tomorrow, Jan. 6, 2021, for breaching the island’s COVID-19 laws.
Holland, according to the Royal Barbados Police Force, tried to leave the country despite being told to isolate after her arrival.
The 25-year-old will appear in the District “A” Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday and could face a hefty fine or even jail time, Barbados media reports suggest.
On Saturday, January 2, 2021, Holland presented herself to the Hastings/Worthing Police Station accompanied by an attorney-at-law. and was served with a summons related to the offence.
In a statement, Barbados station sergeant Michael Blackman said Holland, 25, arrived on the Caribbean island on December 27, 2020 and was tested for coronavirus the following day. She was instructed to remain at the Sugar Bay Hotel in Hastings, he said, until the results were known.
On December 29, 2020, it was discovered she had left without permission, the officer said. She was later intercepted at the Grantley Adams International Airport, apparently attempting to leave.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting a British man and woman following their arrest in Barbados and are in contact with their family.”
Barbados Today quoted a representative of her family as describing the incident as a “massive mix-up and misunderstanding” and apologized to “the entire country of Barbados”.
The statement from Holland said: “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 jeopardize an entire nation that I have nothing but love and respect for and which has treated me as a family.”
The petition started by James McLean, a British man on Change.org states in part: “If one single person dies as a result of their selfish and cowardly actions, then they should be charged with murder. Either way, we strongly believe they should receive a custodial sentence, either in Barbados or the UK, for wantonly endangering the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.”
And McLean added: “…as a fellow visitor to Barbados from the UK, I’m utterly heartbroken that a pair of our countrymen would do such a thing. I also want to reassure the people of Barbados that the majority of us love your country and respect your laws. You have been so welcoming and giving, so I’m deeply sorry that some individuals have disrespected the country in this way.”
Persons who have been ordered to self-quarantine but fail to do so are guilty of an offence under the Health Services (Communicable and Notifiable Diseases) Regulations. Failure to comply may result in the offender being placed in mandatory quarantine at a health facility. Disobeying can also result in a maximum fine of $5000.00, or imprisonment of up to 12 months or both.