Police speak to Neil Gaiman over lockdown journey from New Zealand to Skye

The author faced public criticism after breaking Scotland’s lockdown rules
Police speak to Neil Gaiman over lockdown journey from New Zealand to SkyePolice speak to Neil Gaiman over lockdown journey from New Zealand to Skye
Police speak to Neil Gaiman over lockdown journey from New Zealand to Skye

Police Scotland officers have spoken to the writer Neil Gaiman who admitted to travelling more than 11,000 miles from New Zealand to his house in Skye in breach of Scotland's lockdown rules.

The American Gods and Good Omens author said he travelled to Scotland so he could "isolate easily" after he and his wife Amanda agreed they "needed to give each other some space".

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Writing on his blog, he described how he flew "masked and gloved" from Auckland Airport to Los Angeles (LAX) and then on to London before borrowing a friend's car and driving north to Skye.

Only essential journeys are permitted under lockdown rules in Scotland, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressing the message north of the border is "stay at home".

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."

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who is also the MP for Skye, tweeted: "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."

Gaiman said he was in New Zealand with his wife and son Ash until two weeks ago, when the country went from level four of lockdown - which it had been on for the previous five weeks - to level three.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He compared his journey - from Auckland Airport to London via LAX - with "flying a week after 9/11: everything's changed".

In response to some criticism online, Gaiman responded: "I'm currently a UK taxpayer and on the Scottish voting rolls. I went home."

Additional reporting by Press Association

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on many of our advertisers - and consequently the revenue we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription.

Subscribe to scotsman.com and enjoy unlimited access to Scottish news and information online and on our app. With a digital subscription, you can read more than 5 articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content. Visit https://www.scotsman.com/subscriptions now to sign up.

Our journalism costs money and we rely on advertising, print and digital revenues to help to support them. By supporting us, we are able to support you in providing trusted, fact-checked content for this website.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.