Nicole Kidman Quarantine Exemption Sparks Anger
Arrivals from high-risk countries have to stay in hotel quarantine for 21 days, while lower-risk countries have seven days hotel quarantine followed by a further seven days of self-monitoring.
Hong Kong’s decision to grant Hollywood star Nicole Kidman a quarantine exemption as she films an Amazon-funded series about the lives of wealthy expats has sparked public anger.
The Chinese financial hub maintains some of the strictest quarantine measures in the world, an approach that has kept virus cases low but left most residents cut off from overseas loved ones for the last 18 months.
The 54-year-old Hollywood star was spotted shopping and filming in the former British colony days after arriving from Sydney last week, according to HK01.
Without naming Kidman, the Hong Kong government responded on Thursday afternoon to “inquiries on the quarantine exemption of overseas film personnel undertaking location filming in Hong Kong.
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 added such exemptions must still comply with anti-pandemic measures and other conditions to minimise contact with the public and risks of transmission, including vaccinations, designated accommodation, private transport, predetermined work itineraries such as costume fittings and rehearsals, and Covid tests. It said no breach by “the personnel concerned” had been identified.
Some Hong Kong residents took to social media to express their dissatisfaction at the exemption. “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!” Wrote one user on Twitter.
Kidman is an executive producer on The Expats via her banner Blossom Films; it has not been confirmed if she will also star. Lulu Wang is also an exec on the series and is writing and directing episodes. It is based on The Expatriates book by Janice Y.K. Lee.