In yet another example of how when it comes to COVID restrictions that there are two sets of rules, one for the elite and one for everyone else, outrage ensued after the government of Hong Kong granted an exemption from quarantine rules to Hollywood star Nicole Kidman.
The Australian actress who traveled to the city for the filming of the Amazon series “The Expats,” was granted a waiver from the normal 21-day quarantine period mandated for those entering the former British colony, the rules apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated but evidently not to celebrities.
The 54-year-old Kidman, who has won multiple awards for her acting including a 2003 Best Actress Oscar, reportedly flew into Hong Kong on a private jet last week from Sydney, a city that is currently under extreme lockdown conditions due to the delta variant, a detail that would suggest even more reason for her to be quarantined.
Criticism of the special treatment given to Kidman erupted on Twitter following reports that she has been spotted out shopping in the city with some pointing out that athletes who competed in the Tokyo Olympics were made to follow the rules that she was given an exception from.
Olympic medalists are required to quarantine in HK but Nicole Kidman doesn’t because she is a Hollywood star and needs to film “EXPATS” https://t.co/1ZixxqUP4Z
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) August 18, 2021
HK olympians when they hear the news that Nicole Kidman was able to skip quarantine and not them: 👁👄👁 https://t.co/zXoaOtpNJR
— yellow connasse 🎗🖐☝️💉💉🕯🍎 (@YellowConnasse) August 19, 2021
Others expressed their displeasure at the selective enforcement of the quarantine rules.
Nicole Kidman was exempt from quarantine even though she flew in from Australia's Covid epicenter. If I returned to see my family I would need to isolate for 21 days, but I can't because I'm in a high-risk country and the myopic HK gov't doesn't recognize my vaccination record. https://t.co/yu4LHwAobm
— James Louie (@james_ultra) August 19, 2021
nicole kidman getting special quarantine exemptions to go to HK and film the “expats” amazon series is literally what being a white expat in asia is all about
— alexis 萍 (@steppinlazer) August 19, 2021
As someone who is returning to HK in a few days and will have to do three week quantitative instead of the one week I planned on, I'm really, really ticked off about this. https://t.co/ZheTxh3Itr
— Cameron Campbell 康文林 (@campbell_kang) August 19, 2021
So we have HK residents who can't come back if not vaccinated (and even then, with 2-3 weeks quarantine) but Nicole Kidman can just enter like this? It's disgusting! https://t.co/c2aUfK5nEo
— Whovian Booknerd 🏳️🌈 (@WhovianBooknerd) August 19, 2021
You have to be rich to rule the World.
— Ꮆamersຟare 🔥 (@iTunerd) August 19, 2021
HK govt responds to Nicole Kidman quarantine exemption, referring teasingly to Oscar-winning actress as "case in discussion", contends exemption was "necessary" for economy and reveals Kidman may not use public transporthttps://t.co/9BUjIp9KkQ
— Matthew Brooker (@mbrookerhk) August 19, 2021
In response to mounting criticism, the Hong Kong government released a press statement through the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau stating that “the case in discussion has been granted permission to travel to Hong Kong with a quarantine exemption for the purpose of performing designated professional work, taking into account that it is conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of Hong Kong’s economy,”
The statement which did not specifically mention Kidman requires that those who are granted the exemption still must “comply with designated disease prevention measures and other conditions to minimize any transmission risk and contact with the public,” and that they will be subject to checks and monitoring by the CEDB.
Hong Kong is set to implement even stricter quarantine rules this week with 15 countries including the United States being moved into the high-risk category. Kidman’s native Australia will be elevated from low-risk to medium-risk.
The “Expats” is based on the books by Janice Y.K. Lee detailing the chronicles of privileged expatriates and is currently shooting in the Asian financial hub. Kidman is listed as an executive producer, it has not yet been confirmed whether she will also be starring in the series.
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