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Hollywood Star Nicole Kidman Exempt from Hong Kong’s COVID Rules Sparking Anger

Oh the irony when art imitates life



Nicole Kidman

Oh, the irony when art imitates life. Hollywood star and actress Nicole Kidman is not only getting special treatment, but Hong Kong is granting her an unheard of COVID-19 quarantine exemption while she films her new Amazon-funded series.

Ironically, the series is about the lives of wealthy ex-pats. China’s decision has sparked public anger, as “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” reports the Associated Foreign Press.

For us laymen who are not celebrity millionaire Hollywood A-list actresses, the typical rules are as follows: arrivals from high-risk countries have to stay in hotel quarantine for 21 days. Individuals coming from lower-risk countries are to be quarantined for seven days in a hotel, then an additional seven days of self-monitoring.

Kidman, however, gets to “circumvent those rules.” Hong Kong’s Commerce and Economic Development Bureau confirmed Kidman was granted an exemption “to carry out designated professional work.” Reportedly those exempted just need to take three coronavirus tests over the first two weeks upon arrival.

The AFP reports:

The city’s tabloids have closely followed Kidman’s appearances in Hong Kong since touching down last Thursday in a private jet from Australia, including shopping two days after her arrival and later filming in the city’s Sai Wan district.

Kidman has been announced as an executive producer on “Expats”, a show based on a 2016 book by Janice YK Lee about the gilded lives of three American women in the city.

Social media has since filled with comments by expats and local Hong Kongers over Kidman’s quarantine exemption — and the decision to film a series about the city’s wealthy foreign elite at a time when China is purging dissent in the financial hub.

“Right then, that’s it. My Mum is changing her name to ‘Nicole Kidman’ and I’ve just sent my Gulfstream G650 to pick her up,” @webbhk, an account popular with expats, wrote on Twitter.

One popular support group on Facebook utilized by people quarantining in Hong Kong was filled with angry comments from both local and foreign residents who have been unable to see relatives and loved ones for almost two years because they have not been so fortunate as to be exempt from Hong Kong’s rules.

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