Photos of a maskless Elton John may get him in trouble.
The music icon was photographed on the Italian island of Capri earlier this week without wearing a mask while on holiday with his family.
According to the Guardian, Italy’s leading consumer’s association Codacons has filed an official complaint to local authorities arguing John should be fined in accordance with the law in Italy amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Last week, the Campania region, where Capri is located, made masks mandatory in public, outdoor spaces to slow a rise in coronavirus cases.
“The law foresees fines of up to €1,000, and applies for everyone, even VIPs,” said Codacons president Carlo Rienzi on Wednesday.
In response, John’s spokesperson told the Guardian, “Elton is respectful of local rules and fully supportive of wearing a mask in public to protect himself and others. When pictured, he was at an outdoors restaurant, on his way to his table to sit down and eat with his family. He can clearly be seen putting a mask on immediately after.”
John reportedly travelled to the island with his husband David Furnish and their two sons on a yacht.
In the photos of John without a mask, the singer is seen at the five-star Grand Hotel Quisisana posing with a staff member and then walking to his table.
“He put his arm around someone and greeted people without wearing a mask,” said Stefano Zerbi, a spokesperson for Codacons. “He was out in the open in a public space – the law must be respected by everyone, including celebrities from abroad.”
Roberto Russo, a friend of John and an entrepreneur in Capri who organized his transportation to the hotel, denied that the singer had broken any rules, saying that he had a mask on during the journey and did not step out onto the streets of Capri.
“Once at the terrace, he got out and, as the law provides, consumed an aperitif without a mask. I was there and confirm we were the only people at the bar as it was the final day of opening … The return journey happened the same way, with masks worn. In future I hope Codacons find more truthful things to report,” Russo said.
The mayor of Capri, Marino Lembo, called the accusations “a bit exaggerated,” but nonetheless said the incident would be investigated.
“It seems he was sitting on the hotel terrace with his family, distancing … maybe without a mask, as that’s what you can do when you are sitting down in a bar or restaurant,” he said. “I don’t know whether he was walking around Capri without one … It’s not as if you go and disturb someone while they’re on holiday … but I will do stiff checks to find out,” he said. “Fines are only imposed when [breaking the rule] is confirmed.”