Scotland: Coronavirus: Neil Gaiman sorry for making 11,000-mile trip

Author Neil Gaiman has apologised for making a trip from New Zealand to “self isolate” at his home on Skye.

The Good Omens and American Gods writer was spoken to by police after breaking Scotland’s lockdown measures.

On his blog, Gaiman, who has been on Skye for almost three weeks, wrote: “So. I did something stupid. I’m really sorry.

“I’ve managed to mess things up in Skye, which is the place I love most in the world.”

The author left his wife, singer Amanda Palmer, and their four-year-old son in Auckland so he could “isolate” at his island retreat.

His trip, which involved flying via the US and driving from London, has been criticised by the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford, who is the MP for the island, and Skye’s MSP Kate Forbes.

English-born Gaiman said he had “panicked” at the thought of being stuck in New Zealand while all his upcoming work was in the UK. He said he followed advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s website for UK nationals to return home from abroad “where and while commercial routes” were available.

However, he said police on Skye said he should have stayed where he was safe in New Zealand. Gaiman said: “I agreed that yes, all things considered, I should.”

In his blog post, the author thanked islanders for the support they had shown him and wrote of Skye’s “tragic Covid outbreak” at a care home in Portree where 10 residents have died.

Gaiman said: “I made a mistake. Don’t do what I did. Don’t come to the Highlands and Islands unless you have to.”