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    Love Island stars ‘given taxpayers’ money to promote Covid-19 Test and Trace scheme’

    Love Island stars ‘given taxpayers’ money to promote Covid-19 Test and Trace scheme on Instagram and tell followers it’s free, quick and vital’

    Love Island stars were reportedly given taxpayers’ money to tell their Instagram followers that the Covid-19 Test and Trace scheme is ‘free, quick and vital to stop the spread’.  

    The ITV2 reality stars, including Shaughna Phillips, 26, Josh Denzel, 29, and Chris Hughes, 27, are said to have been paid to promote the testing campaign by No 10.  

    The influencers used hashtags including ‘#letsgetback’ and ‘#gettested’ for the social media posts in which they shared throwback pictures of ‘nights out’ with friends. 

    Claims: Love Island stars were reportedly given taxpayers’ money to tell their Instagram followers that the Covid-19 Test and Trace scheme is ‘free, quick and vital to stop the spread’ (pictured: Shaughna Phillips, 26) 

    Yet Downing Street refused to reveal how much they had spent on the ads involving ‘influencers’ and bloggers, according to The Sunday Mirror. 

    However a social media expert told the publication that such influencers would typically command ‘£5,000 to £10,000’ per ad post. 

    The influencers were reportedly told in a brief to ‘heap praise’ on the NHS but were told not to ‘criticise the Government or its guidance’. 

    Fans: The ITV2 reality stars, including Shaughna Phillips, 26, Josh Denzel, 29, and Chris Hughes (pictured), 27, are said to have been paid to promote the testing campaign by No 10

    Fans: The ITV2 reality stars, including Shaughna Phillips, 26, Josh Denzel, 29, and Chris Hughes (pictured), 27, are said to have been paid to promote the testing campaign by No 10 

    And now the stars allegedly face an Advertising Standards Agency probe after paid-for posts should be marked as ‘#ad’.

    The Mirror claims that the posts have only been marked with ‘ads’ since the issue has been raised.    

    Chris shared a picture of himself with a group of friends before Covid-19 hit to his 2.1million Instagram followers on August 14 which garnered more than 23,000 likes.   

    Post: Chris shared a picture of himself with a group of friends before Covid-19 hit to his 2.1million Instagram followers on August 14 which garnered more than 23,000 likes

    Post: Chris shared a picture of himself with a group of friends before Covid-19 hit to his 2.1million Instagram followers on August 14 which garnered more than 23,000 likes

    Captioning the picture, he penned: 'I miss times like these with the boys! Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love. We all play a crucial part in helping normalise this behaviour'

    Captioning the picture, he penned: ‘I miss times like these with the boys! Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love. We all play a crucial part in helping normalise this behaviour’ 

    Captioning the picture, he penned: ‘I miss times like these with the boys! Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love. We all play a crucial part in helping normalise this behaviour.

    ‘I went online to make sure I knew where my local drive through centre is located, and booked a test off the back of this.’ 

    He added: ‘I was worried I might have mild symptoms so I tested just to be sure, and it was so so simple!

    Close: Chris, who previously dated Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson, posted a picture of himself with his arm around snooker star Judd Trump, 31, and celebrity chef Salt Bae, 37, in Mykonos, Greece recently

    Close: Chris, who previously dated Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson, posted a picture of himself with his arm around snooker star Judd Trump, 31, and celebrity chef Salt Bae, 37, in Mykonos, Greece recently 

    ‘Testing is free, quick and vital to stop the spread of coronavirus. Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk #letsgetback #gettested #ad.’ 

    However just days after Chris, who previously dated Little Mix singer Jesy Nelson, posted a picture of himself with his arm around snooker star Judd Trump, 31, and celebrity chef Salt Bae, 37, in Mykonos, Greece. 

    Celebs Go Virtual Dating star Shaughna also posted a promotional picture to her Instagram on August 17 in which she shared a glamorous snap on a night out with a friend before lockdown. 

    Throwback: Celebs Go Virtual Dating star Shaughna also posted a promotional picture to her Instagram on August 17 in which she shared a glamorous snap on a night out with a friend before lockdown

    Throwback: Celebs Go Virtual Dating star Shaughna also posted a promotional picture to her Instagram on August 17 in which she shared a glamorous snap on a night out with a friend before lockdown

    The ITV2 star attracted more than 26,000 likes to the post shared to her 1.5million followers. 

    The former council worker wrote: ‘A throwback to what I love most! Nights out and good friends! 

    ‘Although this may feel like a distant memory to us all, we can all do our part to make sure we can get back to better times, as safely as possible. 

    Shaughna wrote: 'Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love and I love nothing more than spending time with my friends'

    Shaughna wrote: ‘Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love and I love nothing more than spending time with my friends’

    ‘Guys I want to remind you about the importance of Coronavirus testing and that its totally free, quick and is vital to stop the spread of coronavirus.

    ‘Getting tested for coronavirus is the best way for us all to get back to doing the things we love and I love nothing more than spending time with my friends.

    ‘Yesterday I visited my nearest drive though testing centre, which is literally 2 minutes from my house! 

    Holiday fun: The media personality pictured with fellow Islanders (L-R) Amy Hart, Georgia Harrison, Rebecca Gormley and Biggs Chris at Olivia's La Cala in Malaga

    Holiday fun: The media personality pictured with fellow Islanders (L-R) Amy Hart, Georgia Harrison, Rebecca Gormley and Biggs Chris at Olivia’s La Cala in Malaga

    Friends: Shaughna shared a picture of herself enjoying a night out with friends at former TOWIE star's Elliot Wrights restaurant, Olivia’s La Cala, near Marbella, on July 24

    Friends: Shaughna shared a picture of herself enjoying a night out with friends at former TOWIE star’s Elliot Wrights restaurant, Olivia’s La Cala, near Marbella, on July 24

    ‘I was able to book a test online, and have it carried out all under 1 hour, it was so convenient!’ 

    She continued: ‘When I woke up this morning I had already received my results by text and email!

    ‘I’ve also checked the Royal Mail website to see where my nearest priority postbox is, as well as the stickers I need to look out for on the postbox itself. 

    Speaking out: Meanwhile Josh Denzel posted to his 1.2million followers and tagged 'staying at home' as his location on August 14 as he lamented not being able to travel

    Speaking out: Meanwhile Josh Denzel posted to his 1.2million followers and tagged ‘staying at home’ as his location on August 14 as he lamented not being able to travel

    ‘This will help me in the future if I need to carry out a home test kit.

    ‘Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk. #letsgetback #gettested #ad.’ 

    However Shaughna shared a picture of herself enjoying a night out with friends at former TOWIE star’s Elliot Wrights restaurant, Olivia’s La Cala, near Marbella, on August 24. 

    Alongside fellow Love Island star Amy Hart, she wrote: ‘It’s always a good time for an impromptu Love Island reunion.’  

    It comes as Spain called for a 1.5metre distance between people and masks to be worn at all times in Andalusian restaurants while not eating, smoking or drinking. 

    Meanwhile Josh posted to his 1.2million followers and tagged ‘staying at home’ on August 14 as he lamented not being able to travel.  

    Pals: The star posted a picture with his fellow Love Island friends and tagged London as the location on August 16

    Pals: The star posted a picture with his fellow Love Island friends and tagged London as the location on August 16 

    In a post of him walking along a road, he tagged the official NHS Instagram and wrote: ‘For me, the biggest thing I have missed over the past few months is travelling, both in England and around the world. 

    ‘By getting tested for coronavirus we can get back to the good times, making memories and not having to post any more throwback pictures.

    ‘NHS has done an incredible job and now it’s our turn to help them out by getting tested- we all have a crucial role to play!’ 

    He ended: ‘To remind everyone, testing is free, quick and vital to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

    ‘Everyone with symptoms, no matter how mild, can get a free test by calling 119 or visiting NHS.uk.

    ‘Washing our hands and covering our face will still be part of everyday life but at least holidays and travel will be too @nhswebsite #letsgetback #gettested #ad.’

    MailOnline has contacted Shaughna, Josh and Chris’s representatives for comment.  

    Holiday blues: The reality TV pictured in the Costa del Sol in July

    Holiday blues: The reality TV pictured in the Costa del Sol in July 

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