Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash falsely accused of ‘flouting strict rules’ during holiday

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Stacey Solomon, 31, and her boyfriend Joe Swash, 38, have faced backlash from some Welsh locals after the couple travelled to Rhayader, Powys for a family holiday. Although much of Wales is under tighter restrictions, counties including Ceredigion, Powys, Pembrokeshire and Gwynedd are not. As a result, Stacey and Joe did not break any rules in travelling to Rhayader.

The trip was planned as a surprise from Joe to celebrate the Loose Women panellist’s birthday alongside their one-year-old son Rex and Stacey’s sons Leighton and Zachary from previous relationships.

Stacey took to Instagram to share several sweet photos from their time in Wales and stunned fans as she showed off the “hobbit house”, which is covered in grass and built into the landscape, where they stayed.

However, some locals were disappointed by Stacey and Joe’s actions, as many parts of Wales are currently in lockdown due to the spread of the coronavirus.

One upset person asked: “So the question here is…. will they be fined for this?

“As the government states you will be if travelling during lockdown… or is it a different rule for celebrities?????”

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Another commented: “County lockdown means we can not meet our family and friends but it’s perfectly fine for visitors to come without being tested.”

A third queried: “What about covid restrictions one rule for them and one rule for us!”

A fourth resident added: “So I can’t go 20mins up the road to take my son football training yet, yet they can do this??”

In spite of the criticism, Stacey and Joe were in fact not breaking any rules, as their trip was legal.

In Wales, people are not permitted to enter or leave areas subjected to local lockdown restrictions without a reasonable excuse such as going to work.

However, people in England are not under the same restrictions, which means those living areas of higher COVID-19 infection rates are allowed to travel to areas of Wales with low community transmission. 

One social media user explained: “The area they are from and the area they went to are not on lockdown.

“Frustrating as it is, they haven’t done anything wrong and supported a local business.”

Express.co.uk has contacted representatives for Stacey and Joe for comment.

Stacey recently revealed her support for the hobbit houses sparked many bookings from customers.

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Upon returning home, she shared the details of the accommodation and was blown away by the response from her fans.

Stacey, who has an Instagram following of 3.7 million, revealed they had made “dreams come true” by supporting the family-run business.

Stacey said: ”I was reading through my messages and I just got a lovely message from the hobbit hole lady and she said you lot have booked her out until the end of the next year.

“Honestly, I can’t get over how incredible you lot are,” she gushed.

The emotional star continued: “It was their family dream to build those hobbit holes and they’ve been successful, so you’ve just made all their dreams come true.

“I don’t know why it makes me so emotional but I just think you lot change lives and it’s amazing.”

The previous day, Stacey said she liked to support “exceptional” businesses and posted a picture of her youngest son outside their circular holiday home.

Alongside the picture, she wrote: “It was truly magical, and the people who run them were so kind and friendly.”

The ITV star added: “These little hobbit holes are @holiayswales. Not gifted or an AD in any way shape or form… I honestly believe sharing peoples business when they’re exceptional is what they deserve.”

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