Ten London jet-setters who defied Covid-19 lockdowns to take a private plane to the Cote d’Azur were ordered to return home by French police, news website BFM TV reported on Friday.
The aircraft carrying seven men, in their 40s and 50s, and three women, aged between 24 and 27, ignored orders not to land at Marseilles airport, BFM TV said, citing a police official.
Three helicopters hired to whisk the group from the airport to a rented villa in Cannes were sent packing by the authorities, according to BFM. Nine of the 10 passengers were forced to fly back to London without disembarking, the website reported. The other person hired a private plane at the French airport to fly him to Germany.
The reported incident comes after skiers jetting in from London and other European capitals to mountain resorts like Les Contamines in France and Ischgl in Austria have been found to be so-called superspreaders of the coronavirus when they returned home.
International travel must be for a legitimate business reason or for medical staff called to help, BFM said, citing the unnamed police official.
Representatives for France’s police nationale declined to immediately comment when contacted by Bloomberg.
Any attempted trip by plane would have stood out to authorities at a time when air travel has left the skies over Europe nearly empty. Air traffic out of the U.K. is down nearly 90 percent from a year earlier, according to the National Air Traffic Service.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.