Bernie Ecclestone has defended his daughter Tamara for travelling the world during lockdown and said that where she lived in Gstaad Switzerland was ‘very cold’.
The billionaire former F1 boss, 90, said that neither Tamara or her sister Petra had broken any anti-Covid laws by jetting to different countries and had good reasons to do so.
Tamara, 36, and husband Jay Rutland have recently flown to the U.S where they spent Easter in Beverly Hills. The couple have been to six countries since the start of lockdown; Croatia, Switzerland, the U.K, Dubai, The Maldives and now America.
Another break? Tamara Ecclestone has jetted to her sixth country since the start of the Covid lockdown, after flying to Beverly Hills to celebrate Easter with her family
Petra, meanwhile, has travelled with her fiancé Sam Palmer, 37, and four children from London to Croatia to LA, then Switzerland, Monaco and France, then back to LA, Monaco, and The Maldives before travelling back to Monaco since March last year.
The heiress has since returned to southern California, where she owns a home after relocating permanently to the United States.
Speaking to MailOnline, Bernie, said on Wednesday: ‘They have been travelling around a lot but they’ve 100 per cent broken no laws by doing so. They both have a home in Switzerland for a start so are residents.
‘I think, in Tamara and Jay’s case, they left Switzerland to go somewhere warm because it had been snowing and was very cold in Gstaad.
‘They’ve broken no laws’: And Tamara’s father Bernie has defended his daughter Tamara for travelling the world during lockdown and said that where she lived in Gstaad was ‘very cold
His say: The billionaire former F1 boss, 90, said that neither Tamara or her sister Petra had broken any anti-Covid laws by jetting to different countries and had good reasons to do so
Family: The heiress shared a slew of snaps on Instagram over the weekend of her husband Jay Rutland and their daughters Sophia, seven, and Serena, six months after flying to LA
‘They went to Dubai and from there they disappeared to the Maldives, since they already had a trip there booked for some time and it was easier to fly straight there from Dubai so they didn’t have to break any rules. It was nice and simple, plus the airline tickets at the time were cheaper.
‘They have now gone to California purely to see Petra, who has moved there.’
Asked if people were jealous of his girls’ lifestyle, he replied: ‘I suppose so but they don’t know the reasons and think they’ve just travelled around for the hell of it.
‘But Tamara and Jay had already paid a deposit for the Maldives trip and did not want to lose it and they left Switzerland to go to Dubai before then because of the severe winter weather.
Off they go! This is the sixth country that Tamara and Jay have travelled to since the start of the Covid pandemic, having first travelled to Croatia in June
‘Tamara wouldn’t have gone to California had Petra not moved there, she is just visiting her sister. I think they are enjoying their life and have the means to do it.’
Tamara, who has recently become a mother for the second time, announced at the end of last year that she has ‘no plans’ to return to London following the £25million burglary of her palatial mansion in Kensington in 2019.
Bernie added: ‘I think at the moment it’s still up in the air about whether or not they are going to be back in London or not and therefore if they’re going to sell the property or not. I don’t they know what they’re going to do yet.
Family: They then journeyed to Gstaad in Switzerland in August 2020, to stay in the luxurious sky resort, so Tamara could visit her father Bernie
‘I think both Tamara and Jay were upset at what happened to them with the burglary. They thought London was the safest place in the world. But what happened to them doesn’t happen every day so they were a bit unlucky.’
Tamara recently took to Instagram to share a slew of snaps with her husband Jay and their two daughters of the celebration, having previously insisted she hadn’t broken travel restrictions as she’d been living in Gstaad, where her father Bernie owns a property.
Her sister Petra previously defended her decision to travel to seven different countries during the Covid crisis, insisting that as a germaphobe she was trying to ‘escape’ the deadly virus.
Merry Christmas! In December, following the news of a heist at their west London home, Tamara briefly returned to the UK over the Christmas period
One of the snaps from their family break showed Tamara and Jay beaming with their daughters Sophia, seven, and Serena, six months, with the table covered in Easter decorations.
The snap was shared on both of the couple’s Instagram accounts, though it was Jay who tagged the location as Beverly Hills in California.
According to the LA County Department of Public Health, any citizens travelling into Los Angeles must quarantine for seven full days after getting a negative Covid test upon arrival. It is unclear when Tamara and Jay flew to the US.
MailOnline has contacted representatives for Tamara Ecclestone for comment.
Tamara also posted an image with her baby daughter outside the Sweet Rose Creamery, which is located in Santa Monica.
Happy: In January, as the UK was plunged into its third lockdown meaning international travel would be banned, Tamara and Jay flew to Dubai
Respite: In March they also flew to The Maldives for a short break to celebrate Jay’s 40th birthday
Jay was clearly thrilled to be back in California as he discovered it was home to one of his favourite pizza restaurants, writing: ‘My favourite pizza joint @psp_nyc only went and opened in LA.’
This is the sixth country that Tamara and Jay have travelled to since the start of the Covid pandemic, having first travelled to Croatia with her sister Petra to holiday on their father Bernie’s £28 million yacht in June.
During the trip Tamara hit back at criticism for flying abroad at the height of the Covid crisis, writing on Instagram: ‘Clearly this virus hasn’t changed some people for the better which is a bit of a shame.
‘For those of you that are confused or just bitter. I didn’t leave the house at all during lockdown…
‘I didn’t even go to the park or exercise. I am half-Croatian so decided it would be best, safest to come here, which is not forbidden and I am now following the rules in Croatia. As for the home school questions, a return to school was option…
‘We chose to continue to home school Fifi she is doing better than ever and has gone up two reading bands. If I am not mistaken no one is obliged to follow me so you know what to do.’
In June, Krunoslav Capak, the director of Croatia’s Institute of Public Health, said there would be ‘no bans, just precautions’ on the country’s beaches.
The family then journeyed to Gstaad in Switzerland in August 2020, to stay in the luxurious sky resort, so Tamara could visit her father Bernie, after he welcomed his baby son Ace with wife Fabiana Flosi.
Away again? Both Tamara and Jay shared the same snap of their family celebrating Easter, with the businessman tagging their location as Beverly Hills
UK nationals who hold a residence or cross-border permit for Switzerland may enter the country, but must present a negative COVID-19 test result upon arrival.
In September Tamara and Jay also welcomed their second child together, baby Serena. The tot was born at a hospital near Bern in Switzerland.
In December, following the news of a heist at their west London home, Tamara briefly returned to the UK over the Christmas period, and shared a snap of her daughter Sophia visiting Santa in Hamleys toy shop.
At the time UK residents could return to England, though new tier restrictions introduced later in December banned international travel, barring exceptions such as ‘essential work.’
It had been stated that anyone returning to the UK from a country that wasn’t listed on the government’s ‘travel corridor’ list, only needed to isolate for five days if they provided proof of a negative Covid test.
January saw Tamara and her family travel to Dubai just as the UK was once again plunged into lockdown, meaning all international travel was banned, and briefly flew to The Maldives in March to celebrate Jay’s 40th birthday.
Tamara had previously said she has no plans to return to London following the dramatic security lapse that led to a multi-million pound jewel heist at her West London home.
Her husband Jay Rutland admitted concerns over his family’s safety was one reason they had not been back more since the start of the pandemic.
Another country? Tamara also shared an image of her baby daughter Serena on Tuesday as they paid a visit to an ice cream shop in Santa Monica
Jurors at a recent trial related to the burglary heard the home was so huge that security staff did not notice the thieves breaking in through the back garden or plundering several rooms of the house during the hour-long raid.
Speaking from Dubai about their plans, Jay told MailOnline: ‘We do not intend to return to the UK from Dubai.
‘There are a host of reasons why we are not going back to London any time soon and security is one of them. The truth is we are playing it month by month and watching how the situation develops.’
Jay denied that he and Tamara had broken travel restrictions as they had not returned to the UK since leaving the country in June 2020.
‘We have not broken the lockdown rules to come Dubai, that is not what we have done,’ he told MailOnline. ‘At the beginning of the outbreak last year we really stuck to the rules.
Cute: One image showed Tamara’s daughter Serena after the family had flown to California from Dubai, having travelled to the UAE ahead of the UK’s third lockdown
‘From March to May we locked down and did not leave the house [in London]. We went to Croatia in [June in] the summer, but that was only after the rules changed and everyone was allowed to travel.
‘From there we went to Switzerland and we stayed there until Christmas when we came here to Dubai. There are a host of reasons why are not planning to return to London any time soon.
‘Security is one of them but certainly not the only reason. There is not a strict plan about when we are going to return to the UK or to Switzerland. Switzerland is in lockdown as well.
‘Therefore, my gallery is closed and I can do any work I need to do remotely. We are here on an extended holiday while all this stuff is going on.’
Tamara’s ‘Illness-phobic’ billionaire sister Petra has also previously defended travelling to seven countries in lockdown to ‘escape coronavirus’, claiming that ‘others would if they could’.
Delicious: Jay was thrilled to be in California after discovering it was home to one of his favourite pizza restaurants
Talking to the Times’ T2, Petra asserted she hasn’t broken rules and said: ‘We’re currently in Monaco. For now. Not sure where we’ll be next week . . . We’re very Covid-conscious. We’ve flown completely around the world to try and miss it. What I think we’ve realised now is you can’t run from coronavirus.’
The couple returned to London from their home in LA just as the pandemic hit last year and they hardly left the house at this point.
They then flew to Croatia to stay on her Formula One boss dad Bernie’s yacht for one month in the summer.
But because her sister Tamara, and her father Bernie,were both in Switzerland with their families, they decided to go there so their children could partake in outdoor activities instead of being cooped up at home.
Hitting back: Tamara’s ‘Illness-phobic’ billionaire sister Petra has also previously defended travelling to seven countries in lockdown to ‘escape coronavirus’ (pictured in Croatia last year)
As the virus grew, the family travelled to Monaco after two months because ‘it has done very well for coronavirus,’ Sam noted.
Despite schools being open there, the couple have been home-schooling their children but their nanny-housekeeper contracted coronavirus and so they’ve been doing everything themselves.
Acknowledging how difficult single mothers would be finding this situation, homeschooling in an apartment, Sam said, ‘we can’t really complain.’
Petra regards herself as being illness-phobic due to a near-death experience with meningitis when she was aged 14.
She noted: ‘I’m a huge hypochondriac. I hate germs and anything that I’m not in 100 per cent control over gives me anxiety. So this whole virus… it scares me and it isn’t great for my anxiety. ‘
Petra’s father Bernie is worth $3.2billion and Petra famously sold her LA home for £97 million in 2019 – Essex born Sam who was new to this lifestyle noticed ways to cut costs and launched a staffing agency to the super-rich as a result.
While the couple, who have been together since 2017, know they get to live a privileged lifestyle, they are unapologetic for the benefits this has given them, particularly in lockdown.
He added: ‘A lot of people get blinded by the wealth. We are parents with four children. I think people think that we sit around eating lobster and bathing in champagne. It couldn’t be further from the truth and that’s really why we did this [P.S Say Cheese] podcast, to show we are very normal people.’
The couple also touch upon their holiday last month in the Maldives and were asked if they are worried about being judged in these coronavirus times as envious Brits back home remain banned for non-essential travel.
Noting that, ‘we’re living in a country where you’re able to travel’, Sam asserted that there is always going to be a wealth divide.
He said: ‘Precoronavirus there were people starving in the world. Everyone was still posting pictures of food… It’s like the world has to pretend there isn’t wealth any more. There’s still the same problems systematically. And I think probably a lot of it they’ve turned on to other people.’
And while Petra, who was previously married to bullion dealer James Stunt from 2011-2017, acknowledges that the fact she gets to travel is ‘unfair’ but said that ‘if others had the opportunity, they’d go on holiday too.’
Her sister Tamara was criticised for living it up in G’Staad and then travelling to Dubai, but she maintains she travelled from Switzerland and not the UK, not breaking regulations.
Envious: The couple were not afraid to share pictures from the Waldorf Astoria on their luxury trip, while Brits are forced to stay at home – but they haven’t broken the rules