A north community has reacted with anger after a Russian holiday home owner arrived with his family to stay for two weeks.
Highland communities have been striving to keep holiday home owners and tourists away to avoid them spreading coronavirus to areas already struggling for medical resources.
Entrepreneur Nikolay Gurianov, founder of Kent-based artificial intelligence company Braintree, says he has a very good personal reason for moving his family to the house near Helmsdale, and he has shared this with police.
The police say they visited his property on Monday and ‘advice was offered to the residents regarding the importance of following the current guidelines relating to social distancing.’
Mr Gurianov said: “We do understand lockdown and we definitely have a reason to be here.
“It is not for a holiday.
“We did not want to upset the local community, and are not connecting with them as we have brought everything necessary with us for the first two weeks.
“We are quite remote with no neighbours, but anyone who wants to speak to me about it is welcome to come and talk, staying 2m distant of course.”
Mr Gurianov added that he felt singled out for criticism.
“There are plenty of other holiday home owners here,” he said.
Furious local councillor Deirdre Mackay said it was unacceptable in a ward where people have been very respectful and mindful of government advice.
She said: “On my daily walk I see the rainbows put up by little children who are confined to their houses.
“We have relatives in our care homes who are quarantined to their rooms.
“We’re seeing our front line workers setting off every morning to do their best to keep us safe.
“Respect for the guidelines is paramount despite the discomfort it’s causing people.
“So when they see others moving in, demonstrating a flagrant abuse of the regulations, it’s naturally upsetting.
“The rules do not seem to be applied fairly across the piece.”
Local MP Jamie Stone said he took a dim view of rich people endangering the life of his constituents, who were all observing lock-down rules.
He said: “Any movement that might risk spreading the virus is most unwelcome.
“I intend to find out how this happened and make sure they totally self-isolate for the maximum recommended period.”