Nicole Kidman's quarantine exemption in Hong Kong sparks outrage

Nicole Kidman was given special permission to skip quarantine on arrival to Hong Kong on Thursday

Nicole Kidman was given special permission to skip quarantine on arrival to Hong Kong on Thursday
(Image credit: Daniele Venturelli/Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images ))

Nicole Kidman has reportedly been allowed into Hong Kong without quarantining, much to the outrage of other travelers.  

The Nine Perfect Strangers star was given a special exemption to enter China for work on Thursday, making her one of the very few people to evade the country's mandatory COVID-19 travel protocol. Hong Kong authorities have confirmed that Nicole, along with four members of her team, was allowed to skip quarantine after flying into the city on a private jet from Sydney. 

The Australian actor, who is in town to shoot Amazon's upcoming series, Expats, has received major backlash following her arrival, with many critics accusing the Oscar-winner of using her celebrity status to justify special treatment. 

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The Hong Kong government has also come under fire for the decision, especially considering its reputation for enforcing strict quarantine measures on the rest of its residents and visitors. After a brief loosening of restrictions, the city now requires travelers—even fully vaccinated ones—to isolate themselves in a hotel for a minimum of two weeks. Currently, all travelers from Australia, which is categorized as a 'medium risk' country, must quarantine for 14 days. 

PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 15: Nicole Kidman of "The Undoing" speaks during the HBO segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Nicole has faced strong backlash for her Hong Kong quarantine exemption 

(Image credit: Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Shibani MahtaniIn, a Washington Post reporter, was one of the first high-profile people to call out Hong Kong for its mixed messaging, tweeting, "Gov says Nicole Kidman's exemption was granted 'taking into account that [the trip] is conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of HK's economy'. Not sure what the rest of the 7 million are doing if not "maintaining" the economy."

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Others took the opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of forcing the Hong Kong participants of the Tokyo Olympics to quarantine while Nicole is given free rein to explore the city straight off the plane. 

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It doesn't help that Nicole's Amazon show, Expats, follows the lives of privileged Western women living in Hong Kong—a classic example of art reflecting life. 

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By dodging Hong Kong's mandatory hotel quarantine, Nicole has also managed to secure some seriously luxurious accommodation for herself. The Big Little Things star is reportedly staying in a plush mansion on Victoria Peak, an affluent hill that offers magnificent views of the surrounding city. She is expected to remain in Hong Kong until filming for Expats wraps up in October.

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.