Two fitness bloggers have boasted on Instagram about ‘testing their luck’ and getting seats on the ‘last flight to Dubai’ despite Priti Patel slamming influencers for ‘showing off’ their sunsoaked holidays.

Mark Ross and Jessica Riffat from Manchester flew out to Dubai on Thursday – just hours before all direct flights between the UK and the UAE were banned because of the South African variant of Covid appearing in the emirate.

One angry client of 30-year-old Ms Riffat – who blogs as ‘Jessica Layla’ – said she had cancelled her £125 subscription to her eight-week ‘lean’ programme in disgust, saying ‘this is clearly a holiday and a breach of the lockdown law’.

Mr Ross, who works for the Barry’s Gym Chain, filmed himself strolling around Dubai Marina with his girlfriend in the sunshine, telling his 17,000 followers: ‘You guys, we got here, and it’s not Salford.

‘I’m going to be teaching at Barry’s which has been a long, long time, and me and Jessica are going to be running our business from this climate.’

Ms Riffat, who has 12,000 followers on Instagram, laughs in the background, adding: ‘We’re going to be grinding away!’

Mr Ross adds: ‘So, great, it’s something I’ve always wanted to try, but it just seemed like the best opportunity to do so. 

‘We yeah, we tested our luck and got the last flight out here and we’re going to work and chill and train. Happy Friday, everyone, cheers!’

Fitness bloggers Mark Ross and Jessica Riffat (pictured) have boasted on Instagram about 'testing their luck' and getting seats on the 'last flight to Dubai'

Their instagram video (pictured) came despite Priti Patel slamming influencers for 'showing off' their sunsoaked holidays

Fitness bloggers Mark Ross and Jessica Riffat (left) have boasted on Instagram about ‘testing their luck’ and getting seats on the ‘last flight to Dubai’ despite Priti Patel slamming influencers for ‘showing off’ their sunsoaked holidays in a video shared to Instagram (right)

Mr Ross, who works for the Barry's Gym Chain, filmed himself strolling around Dubai Marina with his girlfriend in the sunshine, telling his 17,000 followers: 'You guys, we got here, and it's not Salford.

Pictured: The couple in their Instagram video

 Mr Ross, who works for the Barry’s Gym Chain, filmed himself strolling around Dubai Marina with his girlfriend in the sunshine, telling his 17,000 followers: ‘You guys, we got here, and it’s not Salford’

One angry client of 30-year-old Ms Riffat (pictured) - who blogs as 'Jessica Layla' - said she had cancelled her £125 subscription to her eight-week 'lean' programme in disgust, saying 'this is clearly a holiday and a breach of the lockdown law'

Mark Ross

One angry client of 30-year-old Ms Riffat (left) – who blogs as ‘Jessica Layla’ – said she had cancelled her £125 subscription to her eight-week ‘lean’ programme in disgust, saying ‘this is clearly a holiday and a breach of the lockdown law’.

Right: Her boyfriend Mr Ross

Mr Ross, who works for the Barry's Gym Chain (Barry's gym in Dubai, pictured), filmed himself strolling around Dubai Marina with his girlfriend in the sunshine, telling his 17,000 followers: 'You guys, we got here, and it's not Salford. 'I'm going to be teaching at Barry's which has been a long, long time, and me and Jessica are going to be running our business from this climate'

Mr Ross, who works for the Barry’s Gym Chain (Barry’s gym in Dubai, pictured), filmed himself strolling around Dubai Marina with his girlfriend in the sunshine, telling his 17,000 followers: ‘You guys, we got here, and it’s not Salford.

‘I’m going to be teaching at Barry’s which has been a long, long time, and me and Jessica are going to be running our business from this climate’

Earlier this week, Priti Patel launched a scathing attack on influencers ‘showing off in sunny parts of the world’ as she revealed travellers would be stopped from leaving the UK if their journey is not essential.

The Home Secretary slammed reality TV stars for bragging about their holidays and people ‘turning up with their skis at St Pancras Station’, adding, ‘going on holiday is not an exemption.’

Under lockdown rules in place since the start of the month, Britons ‘going on a foreign holiday is not a valid reason to leave home,’ one official said, adding that it ‘increases the risk of spreading the virus and puts people in danger’. 

The Government website says travel is only allowed ‘if you cannot work from home’.

Their former client, who asked not to be named, said she had contacted Barry’s Gym in Manchester to complain and was told that during lockdown Mr Ross had little to no income, so going to Dubai allowed him to generate work.

But she pointed out that Ms Riffat runs a lucrative online fitness plan which would generate an income for her, whether in the UK or Dubai.

She estimated that Ms Riffat alone had earned nearly £20,000 for two months’ work, based on her 157 subscribers who each paid £125 in advance for an eight-week course.

Mr Ross will be hosting two online classes a day from Barry’s Gym in Dubai Marina from tomorrow.

A spokesperson for Mr Ross said his comments were ‘clearly a joke’ and he has not broken the law. He added that Mr Ross is working on a previously-planned paid contract with a leading global fitness studio that requires physical attendance by his students.

MailOnline has contacted the couple.

The Only Way is Essex Star Yazmin Oukhellou shared a picture of herself lounging on an over-sized outdoor bed in the Emirate she soaked up the rays today, captioning the post with three water droplet emojis

The Only Way is Essex Star Yazmin Oukhellou shared a picture of herself lounging on an over-sized outdoor bed in the Emirate she soaked up the rays today, captioning the post with three water droplet emojis

Meanwhile, her Towie costar James Lock this week shared a photo of himself working on a laptop outdoors (pictured), offering his 900,000 Instagram followers tips on how to 'work from anywhere in the world'

Meanwhile, her Towie costar James Lock this week shared a photo of himself working on a laptop outdoors (pictured), offering his 900,000 Instagram followers tips on how to ‘work from anywhere in the world’

Mr Lock was pictured with Absolutely Ascot star Henry Simmons

Mr Simmons also shared a picture of himself by the pool in a Dubai resort this week

Mr Lock was pictured with Absolutely Ascot star Henry Simmons (left) who also shared a picture of himself by the pool in a Dubai resort this week (right)

Mr Lock also shared an advert on where to rent luxury super cars in Dubai yesterday. He is one of several influencers still sunning it up in the Emirate

Mr Lock also shared an advert on where to rent luxury super cars in Dubai yesterday.

He is one of several influencers still sunning it up in the Emirate

Mr Lock also posted this photo of himself in the sunshine with the caption 'weekend vibes' on Saturday

Mr Lock also posted this photo of himself in the sunshine with the caption ‘weekend vibes’ on Saturday

The likes of Mia Sully from Absolutely Ascot and Love Island stars Joseph Garratt and Anton Danyluk were pictured on Instagram enjoying life in the sunshine yesterday. Mr Danyluk shared a picture from inside a venue last night

The likes of Mia Sully from Absolutely Ascot and Love Island stars Joseph Garratt and Anton Danyluk were pictured on Instagram enjoying life in the sunshine yesterday.

Mr Danyluk shared a picture from inside a venue last night

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The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office launched adverts warning ‘going on holiday is currently illegal’ amid a clampdown on illicit trips.

It comes as countless models, social media ‘personalities’ and reality TV stars defiantly sun it up in Dubai.

The Only Way is Essex Star Yazmin Oukhellou shared a picture of herself lounging on an over-sized outdoor bed in the Emirate today, captioning the post with three water droplet emojis.

Meanwhile, her Towie costar James Lock posted a photo of himself working on a laptop outdoors, offering his 900,000 Instagram followers tips on how to ‘work from anywhere in the world’.

The post shared earlier this week read: ‘Would you like the freedom to work from anywhere in the world? DM me today, join me and I’ll show you how to make it happen.’ 

Mr Lock was pictured with Henry Simmons – from Absolutely Ascot – in Dubai yesterday.

The latter shared a photo of the pair hugging each other on a sunbed with the caption ‘my bruva’ (brother).

Ministers this week stepped up their war against illegal foreign holidays with a new ad campaign telling Britons not to travel.

The adverts – launched by the Foreign Office – warn ‘going on holiday is currently illegal’ – amid a clampdown on illicit trips.

Due to border closures caused by Covid-19, Dubai to London was the world’s busiest international route in January with 190,365 scheduled seats this month. In normal times the busiest route to and from London is New York City.     

Many Britons are staying out in Dubai because they know they will only have to quarantine at home for ten days upon their return – and a rule forcing them to stay in a hotel will not come in until February 8 at the earliest.   

Living it up: Instagram influencers posted photographs of themselves still in Dubai on Friday despite the UK travel ban coming into force

Living it up: Instagram influencers posted photographs of themselves still in Dubai on Friday despite the UK travel ban coming into force

Fun: Influencer Gav Gibson posted a photograph of him with a drink at Train Beach Club at La Mer in Dubai on Friday with the caption: 'UK government, you can't come home. Me, cheers'

Fun: Influencer Gav Gibson posted a photograph of him with a drink at Train Beach Club at La Mer in Dubai on Friday with the caption: ‘UK government, you can’t come home.

Me, cheers’ 

Absolutely Ascot star Henry Simmons yesterday shared a view from his balcony and shared a story about influencers being stranded with the caption ‘Oh what a shame’. 

The likes of Mia Sully from Absolutely Ascot and Love Island stars Joseph Garratt and Anton Danyluk were pictured on Instagram enjoying life in the sunshine yesterday, despite the UK Government adding the United Arab Emirates to the so-called red list of countries from where travel to Britain is prohibited during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Others including Only Fans model Honey Evans from Leeds said they would stay out in Dubai despite the ban. She tweeted: ‘Flights from Dubai to the UK are banned.

Guess I have no choice but to stay out here. Shame.’ 

Following a backlash, Ms Evans later added: ‘So many people giving me s*** for being in Dubai.’  

Dubai, which is home to some 240,000 British expats and is a major tourist destination for UK travellers, is likely to face a major economic hit from the travel ban. It comes as daily reported coronavirus cases in the UAE near 4,000 and Dubai sacked the head of its government health agency without explanation following the surge. 

Three flights from Dubai and two from Abu Dhabi were due to land at Heathrow before the 1pm curfew.

One flight arrived at Manchester Airport from Abu Dhabi, and one landed in Glasgow from Dubai.

Emirates and Etihad Airways said all UK passenger flights from the UAE have been suspended, although British Airways told passengers that some were still running.

 

Other countries which have banned flights from the UAE include Denmark, which had concerns over the reliability of Covid-19 tests at some private clinics in Dubai – although the UAE has since reassured Denmark about this. 

Meanwhile British athletes at a training camp in Dubai have criticised the Government for the 11th-hour rule change after the usual elite-sport travel exemptions were scrapped for eroporevo.com the UAE. 

Love Island star Joe Garratt and his American girlfriend Desiree Schlotz continued to enjoy the sun on Friday after arriving in Dubai five days ago

Love Island star Joe Garratt and his American girlfriend Desiree Schlotz continued to enjoy the sun on Friday after arriving in Dubai five days ago 

Absolutely Ascot star Mia Sully posted a photo on Instagram on Friday of her by a swimming pool in Dubai

Absolutely Ascot star Mia Sully posted a photo on Instagram on Friday of her by a swimming pool in Dubai

Mia Sully (left), social media strategist Bianca Lynch (centre) and Yazmin Oukhellou from Towie (right) in Dubai on Friday

Mia Sully (left), social media strategist Bianca Lynch (centre) and Yazmin Oukhellou from Towie (right) in Dubai on Friday

Yazmin Oukhellou from TOWIE sat by a poolside in Dubai on Friday despite the travel ban coming into force

Yazmin Oukhellou from TOWIE sat by a poolside in Dubai on Friday despite the travel ban coming into force

Anton Danyluk (left) from Love Island is among those still in Dubai despite the travel restrictions coming in on Friday

Anton Danyluk (left) from Love Island is among those still in Dubai despite the travel restrictions coming in on Friday

Former Coronation Street star Arianna Atjar also posted an Instagram photo from a poolside in Dubai on Friday

Former Coronation Street star Arianna Atjar also posted an Instagram photo from a poolside in Dubai on Friday

Dutch model Anniek van Keulen who works for Clean Nutrition posted this Dubai poolside picture on Instagram on Friday morning

Dutch model Anniek van Keulen who works for Clean Nutrition posted this Dubai poolside picture on Instagram on Friday morning

Stephen Parsons posted this picture of him getting a haircut from celebrity barber Ryan Ward while in Dubai, saying: 'Was supposed to get a flight today... I got a fresh trim instead'

Stephen Parsons posted this picture of him getting a haircut from celebrity barber Ryan Ward while in Dubai, saying: ‘Was supposed to get a flight today…

I got a fresh trim instead’

Love Island winner Paige Turley shared a picture at a restaurant in Dubai, saying: 'Chinese cuisine with gorgeous views of the dancing fountain and burj khalifa'

Love Island winner Paige Turley shared a picture at a restaurant in Dubai, saying: ‘Chinese cuisine with gorgeous views of the dancing fountain and burj khalifa’

Dubai has sacked the head of its government health agency

As daily reported coronavirus cases near 4,000 in the UAE, Dubai has sacked the head of its government health agency

Daily confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Dubai have also been increasing in recent weeks - back to levels last seen in May 2020

Daily confirmed Covid-19 deaths in Dubai have also been increasing in recent weeks – back to levels last seen in May 2020

The last flight to the UK from Dubai before new quarantine restrictions kicked in touched down at Birmingham Airport yesterday carrying several hundred relieved passengers who scurried home to beat the 1pm deadline.