Coronavirus pandemic
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more


Boris Johnson apologises for attending ‘work’ party during Covid-19 lockdown

Boris Johnson apologises for attending ‘work’ party during Covid-19 lockdown

Famous Covid-19 rulebreakers: royals, leaders and reality TV stars

  • Politicians and celebrities have found themselves in hot water over Covid-19 rules
  • UK PM Boris Johnson the latest to apologise, admits attending lockdown party
From British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to reality TV star Kim Kardashian, the Dutch royals and now tennis superstar Novak Djokovic, a slew of politicians and celebrities have found themselves in hot water over Covid-19 rules.

Here are some of the most famous offenders:

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings caused an uproar in Britain after breaching lockdown rules in March 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.

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 lover in his ministry in May 2021.
Matt Hancock, Britain’s former health minister. File photo: AFP

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.


And on Wednesday he was forced to apologise for attending another party during the first lockdown in 2020, amid calls for him to step down.

Finland’s PM apologises for clubbing after Covid-19 exposure

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”.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. Photo: AFP

South Africa’s 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.


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.

Netherlands’ Princess Amalia. File photo: Reuters

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.

‘Invisible guests’ haunt Covid-19 birthday party scandal in Hong Kong

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.


Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez faced fury when it emerged that he threw a party for his wife in July 2020 when all gatherings were banned in the South American country.

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.

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.

Dozens in Denmark test positive for Omicron after Christmas lunch

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.


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.

A hugely anticipated clash between South American football giants Brazil and Argentina had to be halted in September 2021 after five minutes with officials claiming four Argentine players based in England had given them false information to get around Covid rules.