Neil Gaiman: Scottish police speak to author over 11,000 mile trip from New Zealand to Isle of Skye during lockdown

Author has been criticised after breaking lockdown rules to make the journey to his home on the Isle of Skye

Roisin O'Connor
Monday 18 May 2020 09:59
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Police officers in Scotland have spoken to author Neil Gaiman after he admitted to travelling more than 11,000 miles from New Zealand to his house on the Isle of Skye, in breach of Scotland’s lockdown rules.

The American Gods author’s trip was branded “gobsmacking” by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackwood, who said: “Can I just remind anyone else thinking of coming to the Highlands this is against the regulations.

“To come from the other end of the planet is gobsmacking. We will welcome all to the Highlands when it is safe to do so. For now, stay away.”

In a post on his blog, Gaiman, whose family home is in Woodstock, US, said he had travelled to Scotland so he could “isolate easily” after he and his wife, Amanda Palmer, agreed to “give each other some space”.

The 59-year-old said he flew “masked and gloved” from Auckland airport to LAX in Los Angeles, then on to London where he borrowed a friend’s car and drove to Skye.

“I drove north, on empty motorways and then on empty roads, and got in about midnight, and I’ve been here ever since,” he wrote.

“I needed to be somewhere I could talk to people in the UK while they and I were awake, not just before breakfast and after dinner. And I needed to be somewhere I could continue to isolate easily.

“It’s rough for almost everyone right now – some people are crammed together and wish they weren’t, some are alone and crave companionship, pretty much all of us are hurting in one way or another. So be kind.”

A statement from the Scottish police force confirmed the 59-year-old had been given “suitable advice”.

Inspector Linda Allan said: “Officers have visited Neil Gaiman and spoken to him about his actions.

”He has been given suitable advice about essential travel and reminded about the current guidelines in Scotland.”

Only essential journeys are allowed under the Covid-19 restrictions in Scotland. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly stressed that the message continues to be: “Stay at home.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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