Nigel Farage has been reported to police amid claims he flouted quarantine rules by going to the pub while still meant to be self-isolating having returned recently from a President Trump rally in America.
The Brexit leader boasted of being the first customer to buy a pint in his Kent local pub in a picture he posted on social media on July 4, so-called Super Saturday because the pubs opened for the first time in three months.
Wearing his trademark wax jacket and checked shirt, he grinned as he was photographed holding a pint with the caption: “12 o’clock, first customer in. Love it.”
However, Mr Farage was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for Donald Trump’s rally on June 20 and was required to self-isolate for 14 days to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus.
If he returned to the UK on June 21 it would have meant he visited the pub yesterday on the 14 the day he was meant to still be in quarantine.
Mr Farage said: “I have been back 14 days. But, more importantly I have tested. That test said I do not have any signs of the virus at all.”
Asked whether that test meant he was entitled to end his quarantine early, he replied: “Well, you make your own mind up on that.”
Government quarantine rules do not say that testing Covid-19 free entitles someone not to go into isolation for two weeks. Those in breach of rules regarding self-isolation can be fined up to £1,000.
Ed Davey, acting leader of the Liberal Democrats, said he had written to Kent Police, the constabulary serving the village where Mr Farage lives, to ask them to investigate whether the Brexit leader had breached rules.
“There are clearly serious questions to answer for Nigel Farage,” he said in a tweet. “It is clear from his social media posts that he was in America on June 20, and he was pictured at a Trump rally that evening.
“Given the current requirements for visitors returning to the UK to isolate for 14 full days on their return, Mr Farage appears to be in violation of the quarantine.
“It is a responsibility of everyone to take the lockdown requirements seriously in order to stop the spread of the virus. By choosing to go to the pub when it appears he should have been staying at home Mr Farage is showing a flagrant disregard for the safety of people in his community.”