How the wealthy are avoiding coronavirus

Some of the rich are heading towards purpose-made disaster bunkers.
Some of the rich are heading towards purpose-made disaster bunkers. Photo credit: Getty

COVID-19 is spreading quickly around the world but while most people are avoiding public events and using more hand sanitiser, the rich are going to more extreme measures to avoid catching the virus.

The wealthy have been jetting off to remote parts of the world, buying $160 face masks, locking themselves in emergency bunkers and getting $700 vitamin boosts to try to avoid coronavirus.

New research from the Ten Lifestyle Group, a concierge service for the rich, told Sky News UK they have seen a big increase in their customers asking for private jets rather than flying commercially. 

The data also showed they are leaving the UK for remote locations including one customer who wanted to travel to Antarctica.

There are still some countries that remain free of coronavirus including many Pacific Island nations and some African countries. 

Alex Cheatle, the chief executive of the Ten Lifestyle Group, said: "Private jets are certainly in high demand at the moment. It's not been a huge thing, but we have certainly seen an increase".

The chief executive of private jet booking service PrivateFly Adam Twidell said his company has also seen an increase in private jet bookings with many people trying to escape high-risk countries.

He told the Guardian: "Many are from groups which include elderly passengers or those with health conditions that make them particularly concerned about exposure to crowds on airline flights. 

"We’ve just flown a group back to London from the south of France, with an immunocompromised passenger on board".

The Guardian also reported some of the rich are heading towards purpose-made disaster bunkers with some bringing doctors or nurses with them for treatment in the event they become infected.

The New York Times spoke to Robert Vicino, the founder and chief executive of Vivos Group which builds underground shelters in California for doomsday preppers.

He said his company has seen a surge in enquiries and sales since the coronavirus outbreak emerged.

Another way the wealthy are trying to protect themselves from the virus is by getting $700 vitamin shots. 

The shots are full of vitamins and minerals to try and protect their immune systems in case they come in contact with the virus.

Other people have been getting coronavirus tests flown around the world to be tested privately.

The New York Times reported premium face masks from Swedish company Airinum which cost $110 to $160 have been selling out. 

Actress Gwenyth Paltrow posted a photo to her Instagram recently wearing one en route to Paris. 

But wealthy people in the UK are not stopping their social lives for the virus. The research from Ten Lifestyle Group showed those who are staying in the area are continuing to dine out.

Restaurant bookings have gone up for their service but their clients are being more cautious and booking more intimate dinners.

They are dining at exclusive restaurants including Michelin starred French restaurant Alain Ducasse but are adding precautions such as placing tables further apart.

"We are booking lots of private dining rooms and chef's tables for our private members," Cheatle said.

"That's partly made easier because fewer corporates that normally book those private dining rooms are eating out."

He also pointed out that the wealthy are continuing to book in for events and theatre performances, although no-shows have increased.

"Ticket sales are still the same, sold-out shows are still selling out, but some are not turning up to watch."

But the rich and famous aren't completely able to avoid COVID-19, on Thursday actor Tom Hanks announced he and his wife have tested positive for the illness.

Donald Trump has also come into contact with a Brazilian political aid who tested positive and Candian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in self-isolation after his wife showed possible symptoms.

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