As Hong Kong braces for more draconian COVID – 19 travel restrictions to take effect from midnight Thursday, Australian actor Nicole Kidman received an exemption from the government to skip quarantine, media reported.
The exemption was given to allow her to film an Amazon television series called The Expats, online news site HK01 reported, a move that contrast sharply with up to three weeks of hotel mandated quarantine that residents must do after enetring the Chinese – ruled hub.
Reuters could not independently very the information.
The Hong Kong government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The 54 – year – old Hollywood star was spotted shopping and filming in the former British colony after arriving from Sydney last week, according to HK01.
Australia is battling an outbreak of the fast – moving Delta strain and reported its biggest one – day rise in COVID – 19 infections on Thursday.
Hong Kong has some of the most stringent coronavirus entry requirements globally, with arrivals from countries considered ‘high risk’ mandated to undergo compulsory quarantine for 21 days in a designated quarantine hotel, even those who are vaccinated.
The measures have led to many residents not being able to visit relatives and travel overseas for nearly two years, prompting an online backlash over Kidman’s excemption.
‘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! said a used called @WhovianBooknerd.
The government this week said it was upgrading 15 overseas places including the United States, Spain and France to ‘high risk’ from ‘medium risk’ which means that only vaccinated Hong Kong residents are allowed to enter and must face a 21 – day hotel quarantine on arrival.
The measures have sparked chaos for travellers who are desperately trying to rebook hotel quarantine and flights with limited supply available.
Australia has been reclassified to ‘medium risk’ from ‘low risk’ from August 20, meaning that vaccinated arrivals need to quarantine for 14 nights. Without the exemption, Kidman would have had to do 7 days of hotel quarantine.