Stanley Johnson, 80, was “caught red-handed” by the Daily Mirror, which published photos of him casually shopping without a mask. By doing so, the author and former Tory politician had flouted the tougher rules on face coverings announced by his son last week. Amid the resurgence of Covid-19, Brits were ordered to wear masks in shops and malls, while the fines for breaking the regulations were doubled to £200 ($259) for a first offense.
Johnson promptly apologized, saying that he was “maybe not 100 percent up to speed” on the rules because he had just recently returned from a trip abroad.
“I’m extremely sorry for the slip up and I would urge absolutely everybody to do everything they can to make sure they do follow the rules about masks and social distancing,” he said.
The ‘slip up,’ meanwhile, has sparked uproar on social media. Many asked whether the PM’s father would be fined – especially after Boris Johnson warned earlier this week that “the fines are now very considerable and they will be imposed.”
Others argued that Stanley Johnson’s apology was not sincere. “Like all narcissists (like father, like son), he only apologized because he was caught. He would’ve carried on regardless of other people’s safety if someone hadn’t papped him,” a person wrote online.
“Stanley Johnson claiming not to know the rules proves that he is as much of a liar as his son. Seems the apple has not fallen far from the tree,” another tweeted.
“If only there was someone in his family who could have kept him up to speed!” one person quipped. “Maybe even someone who ‘came close to dying’ of the virus not so long ago,” he added, referring to Boris Johnson, who recovered from Covid-19 in April.
The PM’s father was not the only one to get into trouble for ignoring the quarantine rules. On Wednesday, the Sun published a photo of former Labour Party chief Jeremy Corbyn sitting at a dinner party of nine guests, while the current regulations ban indoor gathering of more than six people, unless they already live together.
Corbyn also apologized. “I recently had dinner at a friend’s house where the number of guests eventually exceeded five,” he told the paper. “I understand that remaining at the dinner was a breach of the rule of six. I apologize for my mistake.”
We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality