Petra Ecclestone defends travelling to seven countries in lockdown

‘We’ve flown around the world to try to escape coronavirus’: ‘Illness-phobic’ billionaire Petra Ecclestone defends travelling to seven countries in lockdown and asserts she hasn’t broken rules and says ‘others would if they could’

  • They’ve travelled from London to Croatia to LA, then Switzerland, France, Monaco and The Maldives – then back to Monaco since lockdown began
  • The couple haven’t broken rules because they’ve travelled from countries which had no travel restrictions in place 
  • Petra, 32, is illness phobic after nearly dying from meningities aged 14 
  • She said: ‘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’
  • Their nanny-housekeeper contracted coronavirus so they have been homeschooling their four children even though schools in Monaco are open 
  • Sam and Petra, who met in 2017, said there will always be a wealth divide 
  • He said: ‘Precoronavirus there were people starving in the world. Everyone was still posting pictures of food…’
  • Petra was previously married to bullion dealer James Stunt from 2011-2017

They’ve travelled from London to Croatia to LA, then Switzerland, France, Monaco and The Maldives – then back to Monaco since lockdown began in March. 

And while they haven’t broken any regulations, billionaire heiress Petra Ecclestone, 32, and her fiancé Sam Palmer, 37, admitted they have travelled in order to try to escape coronavirus. 

Talking to the Times’ T2, Petra 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.’

‘We’ve flown around the world to try to escape coronavirus’: ‘Illness-phobic’ billionaire Petra Ecclestone has defended travelling to seven countries in lockdown and asserted she hasn’t broken rules and claims ‘others would if they could’

The couple returned to London from their home in LA just as the pandemic hit last year and they hardly left the house, before flying to Croatia to stay on dad Bernie’s yacht for one month in the summer. 

But because her sister Tamara, 36, and her father Bernie, 90, were both in Switzerland with their families, they decided to go there so their children could partake in outdoor activities.

As the virus grew, they travelled to Monaco after two months because ‘it has done very well for coronavirus,’ Sam notes. 

Getting away from it all: Sam shared this picture of himself with Petra and their four children (who they doesn’t picture publicly) on their holiday in the Maldives last month

Envious: The couple haven’t been 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

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.

Petra regards herself as being illness-phobic due to a near-death experience with meningitis when she was aged 14. 

She notes; ‘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. ‘

Goodbye for now: Back in June, sister Tamara revealed she’s been crying non-stop after saying goodbye to her sister Petra in Croatia (pictured with daughter Sophia, six)

‘Missing my best friend’: Tamara wrote: ‘So hard to say goodbye it’s always hard but this time especially so with the uncertainty of not knowing when we will see each other next’

Farewell for now: The family had been staying on Bernie’s £28million yacht, but Petra, her fiancé Sam and her children boarded a private jet to fly back to LA

Coming home: The recruitment consultant wrote: ‘After 4 months a global pandemic, a new baby and 2 different countries…. We are finally on our way home..’

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. 

Acknowledging how difficult single mothers would be finding this situation, homeschooling in an apartment, Sam said, ‘we can’t really complain.’ 

Trip of a lifetime: Sam had been littering his Instagram with snaps from their time away in Croatia

Making memories: Petra and Sam appeared to have the time of their lives with the children

Reunited: In August, the family joined up with sister Tamara and father Bernie in G’Staad, Switzerland so they could give their children more of an outdoors lifestyle

A lunch in France: The couple popped to Paris for a bite to eat at La Petite Maison in October 

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. 

Nothing 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 in up in G’Staad and then travelling to Dubai, but she maintains she travelled from Switzerland and not the UK, not breaking regulations.

Find out more about the podcast @pssaycheese on Instagram. To donate to Petra’s Place go to petrasplace.co.uk 

With his girls: Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone with daughters Petra and Tamara (pictured in 2017)

All together: Sister Tamara is currently in Dubai with her family including daughter Sophia, six, and husband Jay Rutland, 39 – they travelled there from G’Staad in Switzerland 

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