Scroll through Instagram, and you'd be forgiven for thinking that the pandemic simply doesn't exist anymore. Despite the fact the situation with Covid-19 is getting worse and worse - and it looks like a third lockdown is looming for us stuck in the UK - influencers have been holidaying and living it up like 2020 never happened. In fact, it seems like the entire cast of the past few seasons of Love Island have, at some point, been in Dubai.
Just some of the Islanders snapped in the UAE include Chris Taylor and Maura Higgins, Gabby Allen, Amber Gill, Malin Andersson, Anton Danyluk, Ellie Brown and Molly-Mae Hague and Tommy Fury. The list goes on. It's like the most of the previous contestants decided to host the biggest ever reunion! In Dubai! In the middle of a bloody pandemic!
There has, obviously, been backlash. People aren't best pleased, for obvious reasons.
Jedward - yes, X Factor's favourite novelty act - turned their 2020 wrath to the reality stars last month, tweeting what most people have been thinking (in a brilliantly sarcastic tone): 'Love Islanders do more travelling around the world in a pandemic than Santa Claus but super happy they are also getting home for that Christmas Content.' (They added in another tweet: 'Info for Influencers promoting Dubai! It has Coronavirus but doesn’t have rights for LGBTQ+ so please stop promoting countries where it’s criminal to kiss the one you love!')
Molly-Mae addressed the criticism she has been receiving in her DMs, posting an Instagram story attempting to explain her and Tommy's recent back-to-back getaways in Dubai and the Maldives. Writing on Instagram, she said: ' In response to the messages I'm already getting about us being away throughout this time... Please understand that Tommy and I left the UK from Cheshire which was in Tier 2 at the time. We didn't break any rules coming away. If we knew these rules were going to be put in place then obviously we would have never left the UK. The minute we arrive home we will be following government guidelines.' Amber posted an Instagram story too, saying her flights were booked in advance and that she was allowed to travel for work, adding that she 'didn't even know Tier 4 was a thing'.
Gabby has also addressed the controversy, saying her and her boyfriend Brandon have decided to stay in Dubai 'for the foreseeable' after travelling out on December 7 - because his business is based there. She further explained that they travelled with negative Covid tests, also writing: 'I wanted to come on here and acknowledge this to my followers as it was a difficult decision for me. I really hope you can understand that it was an opportunity I had to take.'
But, regardless of the fact most of the reality stars travelled before even more tiers were introduced, it still doesn't sit right. Of course, influencers are followed because their lives are aspirational and out-of-the-ordinary (but, because they're normal people, they're even more successful because they're #relatable). But now photos from expensive holidays we can only dream of don't feel aspirational. It feels more like a slap in the face when most of us are stuck at home, and have had our one trip a year cancelled (probably more than once).
Plus, people aren't annoyed just because they're jealous at home. It's dangerous. The pandemic isn't getting any better - and while we have the vaccine, there's no certainty about when the new lockdown is going to end. Many countries banned travel to the UK following news of the new strain. In fairness, most people had jetted off before that news - but still, surely it still wasn't the best idea to travel around the world when we were still very much in the midst of a global pandemic? They might be reality stars - but some of them certainly need a reality check.
Which Love Island couples are still together?
Hannah Elizabeth and Jonathan Clark - SPLIT
Remember when they, like, got engaged on the show? That one didn't quite last...
Luis Morrison and Cally Jane Beech - SPLIT
They had the first ever Love Island baby but in September 2018 they confirmed they'd split.
Jordan Ring and Zoe Brown - SPLIT
Absolutely DID NOT work IRL. Neeext.
Katie Salmon and Adam Maxwell - SPLIT
Adam claimed he was '100 percent single' shortly after leaving the villa and, um, that was that. #Kadam; gone but never forgotten.
Rykard Jenkins and Rachel Fenton - SPLIT
At least they lasted 18 months. Not bad going...
Scott Thomas and Kady McDermott -: SPLIT
Scott and Kady managed a year before splitting in 2017.
Nathan Massey and Cara de da Hoyde - STILL TOGETHER
They've got their little Love Island baby and everything and are very much happily married. And baby number two is on the way for Cara, exciting times!
Malin Andersson and Terry Walsh - SPLIT
He did date fellow Love Island-er Emma-Jane Woodhams eight months in actual real life before calling it a day. AH WELL.
Gabby Allen and Marcel Somerville - SPLIT
Gabby dumped Marcel after he was apparently caught cheating as they holidayed TOGETHER. Blimey.
Jamie Jewitt and Camilla Thurlow - STILL TOGETHER
An absolute success story of Love Island 2017, Jamie and Camilla and Jamie are still the CUTEST of couples. And a baby is on the way. Hurrah!
Sam Gowland and Georgia Harrison - SPLIT
Sam seemed to be doing alright for himself on Geordie Shore, so we don't think he's too gutted.
Olivia Attwood and Chris Hughes - SPLIT
The couple were plagued with cheating rumours throughout their relationship (who can forget that whole Chris Hughes and Katie Price debacle?). Since their ITVBe show Crackin' On ended, Olivia's confirmed she's back with ex-boyfriend Bradley Dack, who she is now engaged too.
Alex Bowen and Olivia Buckland - STILL TOGETHER
Alex and Olivia are married and literally as strong as ever. We like to live vicariously through them, to be honest.
Tyla Carr and Jonny Mitchell - SPLIT
Oh it was never gonna last, was it?
Kem Cetinay and Amber Davies - SPLIT
Montana Brown and Alex Beattie - SPLIT
These two split just weeks after returning to the UK. Sad times.
Dom Lever and Jess Shears - STILL TOGETHER
Jess and Dom are SO together, in fact, they got 'married' on Good Morning Britain on Valentine's Day 2017. They then got, y'know, properly married. They now have a baby boy, too.
Sam Bird and Georgia Steel - SPLIT
You know how this one went. Sam accused Georgia of cheating on him with her ex, which she denied. It's safe to say they didn't split on the best of terms.
Zara McDermott and Adam Collard - SPLIT
Zara and Adam called it quits at the beginning of 2019. Now she's dating Made In Chelsea's Sam Thompson and they look so happy.
Megan Barton-Hanson and Wes Nelson - SPLIT
Josh Denzel and Kaz Crossley - SPLIT
Josh and Kaz announced their split in February 2019, with Kaz saying: 'Sometimes things don't go the way you planned, but you have to be grateful for the journey. Thank you for everything especially showing me how to love myself again.'
Samira Mighty and Frankie Foster - SPLIT
Frankie reportedly cheated on Samira and that was that. Done. Over. thank u, next.
Laura Anderson and Paul Knops - SPLIT
There's no bad blood betweenLaura and Paul, but they split months after making it to the final of the show.
Jack Fincham and Dani Dyer - SPLIT
Amber Gill and Greg O'Shea - SPLIT
Amber and Greg were together for less than two weeks but managed to win over the nation and Love Island 2019. But before they could even make things official they split, with Greg reportedly dumping Amber by text.
Tommy Fury and Molly-Mae Hague - STILL TOGETHER
They faced an obstacle when Maura entered the villa and turned Tommy's head but he decided to stick with Molly-Mae and the rest is history... They surprisingly came runner up during the Love Island 2019 final but they're happy in a relationship.
Maura Higgins and Curtis Pritchard - SPLIT
Probably one of the most shocking Love Island recouplings was definitely Maura and Curtis. Against all odds the pair made it to the final and weeks after leaving the villa they became an official couple. But it wasn't to be. The pair lasted eight months after the series.
India Reynolds and Ovie Soko - SPLIT
Ovie and India have definitely been the most successful bombshells of all time. The basketball player entered the villa during Casa Amor and India joined the show just weeks before the final. Needless to say, we were obsessed with them but they've since called it quits.
Belle Hassan and Anton Danyluk - SPLIT
Belle and Anton just missed out on the Love Island final and didn't seem to be spending a whole lot of time together back in the UK. Sure enough they split after five weeks, with Belle reportedly freaked out by his Craig David obsession. There's since been speculation that they'll reunite but the reality stars are yet to confirm anything.
Harley Brash and Chris Taylor - SPLIT
Despite being latecomers to the Love Island villa, Harley and Chris won the public over - even after their drama following the Sidebar of Shame challenge. Two weeks after leaving the villa they called it quits.
Jourdan Riane and Danny Williams - SPLIT
Jourdan and Danny left the villa shortly after the Casa Amor stint and after confirming they were in a relationship they moved in together. However in October, Jourdan ended their relationship following reports Danny was partying with random women.
Joanna Chimonides and Michael Griffiths - SPLIT
Michael left us - and the villa - shook when he decided to recouple with Joanna, leaving Amber single. Despite the awkwardness, Michael and Joanna seemed to kind of be working - until she was dumped from the island and then he said he still has feelings for Amber. He was then dumped from the villa and Joanna was then spotted 'kissing' Michael at a festival. There was a lot going on, ok.
Lucie Donlan and Joe Garratt - SPLIT
Lucie and Joe had a rough time in the Love Island villa, especially after thesandwich maker was accused of 'gaslighting' his other half. Luckily post-villa they managed to work through all the drama and are now in a relationship.
Paige Turley and Finn Tapp
The winners of the first winter Love Island are still together, thank you very much. (They really are a cute couple.) Finn made the six-hour drive to Paige's house in West Lothian, Scotland just before lockdown happened. She has since even cut his hair in lockdown.
Siannise Fudge and Luke Trotman
Another of our all time favourite couples, Luke and Siannise are so loved up that they now live together in London. We fully expect them to get married - and we want to be invited, tbh.
Luke Mabbott and Demi Jones - SPLIT
Three months after the series, the pair split as Demi said Luke didn't make an effort to text her during lockdown. Oh. 'With lockdown, it drove us apart and we live so far away from each other,' she told MailOnline. 'I feel like there wasn't a lot of effort made with communication, so we drifted as a result.'
Jess Gale and Ched Uzor - SPLIT
The pair are still good friends, but like Demi and Luke, they just couldn't make it work during lockdown. Damn.
Nas Majeed and Eva Zapico - SPLIT
Nas Majeed and Eva Zapico are still happy together following Casa Amor, with Nas denying rumours that they'd split earlier in lockdown. From Nas' Instagram, it looks like they've been going on socially distanced dates.
READ MORE: Why Love Island 2019 Was The Best Series