Influencer defends ‘essential’ trip to Dubai saying it was for her mental health

Sheridan Mordew claimed she needed to travel to ‘motivate’ her fans 

Tuesday 26 January 2021 14:34
Influencer defends 'essential' trip to Dubai on This Morning
Leer en Español

Instagram influencer Sheridan Mordew has defended her "essential" lockdown trip to Dubai, telling This Morning viewers the trip was to help her mental health and “motivate” her followers. 

The personal trainer and Instagram star touched down in Dubai on 2 January just days before the third lockdown in England was announced on 4 January, while tier restrictions were in place.

Mordew, who is from the North East of England, was grilled by Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, who argued that her trip was not in the "spirit" of lockdown.

Mordew is one of many influencers who has travelled to the United Arab Emirates for a "business" trip while under restrictions. Current government guidance says international travel is banned unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so.

Social media personalities have been widely criticised for travelling abroad during the pandemic.

Mordew argued that her job is to "motivate" people and that this was her intention in travelling to Dubai, and told the presenters that she provides free workout videos on Instagram.

She said: “I'm not going to start something new by just sitting in the house. And I had this idea and I could not be bothered. With my own self struggles, the only way I’m going to get out of this is find an opportunity to get on a plane for essential travel and get out to Dubai."

However, Willoughby and Schofield weren’t impressed with the influencer’s explanation. 

"It’s not in the spirit of it, is it? When at the moment in lockdown we’re in this together that’s what it feels like," Willoughby challenged.

"However, when we see someone like you beside a pool, we’re not in this together, it’s not in the lockdown spirit."

Mordew said: "I think what you’ve got to understand is my job. My job is to motivate people if I was going to be lazy, if I was going to sit back, if I didn’t bother to provide a service.

"Sometimes, it’s a free service, at the minute I’m providing free workouts on my Instagram. I could just sit back and think I’ll wait till gyms open."

Mordew told the hosts that her mental health was suffering as the third lockdown approached, and she wanted to help motivate her followers with her content.

Willoughby responded: "There are so many people who are suffering with their mental health, however, the rules on travel have nothing to do with mental health, it's purely based on work."

The personal trainer previously told the Sunderland Echo that her business had declined during the pandemic and that her number of clients has increased since she travelled to Dubai.  

"Because I am in Dubai, it motivates [my followers] as well," she said.

"A lot of the girls are like, ‘Oh my god! You are such an inspiration being in the sun when everyone else is stuck in the house’.

"Sometimes, I feel guilty and feel like I shouldn't really be out here because it is unfair on everyone else but then, at the end of the day, they could have gone out as well."

Dubai's quarantine-free status was lost from 4am on 12 January, in response to what British government sources called "a significant acceleration" in infections being imported to the UK from Dubai. This means that people returning to the UK from the UAE now need to self-isolate.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in