Nicole Kidman Faces Backlash After Hong Kong Grants Her Exemption from Coronavirus Quarantine Rules to Film

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 05: Nicole Kidman attends the 2018 AACTA Awards Presented by Foxtel at The Star on December 5, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for AFI)
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images for AFI

Residents and visitors in Hong Kong are furious that there appears to be special rules for Hollywood elites and coronavirus restriction rules for everyone else after actress Nicole Kidman was exempted from the coronavirus quarantine measures to film her latest project in the country.

Hong Kong’s Chinese-controlled government said Thursday that Kidman is excused from the coronavirus rules so she could perform “designated professional work,” Breitbart News reported. Hong Kong authorities added that Kidman was excused because her work is “conducive to maintaining Hong Kong’s economy’s necessary operation and development.”

Kidman is in Hong Kong filming her latest Amazon Prime Video series, The Expats. The series is based on the book by Hong Kong-born author Janice Y.K. Lee, which follows the lives of three American women living in Hong Kong.

A Child wearing face mask rides on a scooter on a street in the locked-down part of the Jordon district on January 24, 2021 in Hong Kong, China. Hong Kong government locked-down tens of thousand of residents to contain a worsening outbreak of the coronavirus. Residents tested negative for Covid-19 can now leave and re-enter the area and the restriction is expected to lift by midnight. (Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

Susanne Bier, Nicole Kidman, and Hugh Grant of “The Undoing” speak during the HBO segment of the 2020 Winter TCA Press Tour at The Langham Huntington, Pasadena on January 15, 2020 in Pasadena, California. (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Unlike others, Kidman has not been required to serve a 21-day mandated quarantine in her hotel room after entering the city. Consequently, the Eyes Wide Shut star flew in from Sydney, Australia, on August 12 and has since been reportedly seen roving about Hong Kong on shopping sprees.

But a backlash to the exemption is forming among residents of the former British protectorate as citizens continue to face travel restrictions, curfews, and other measures related to virus mitigation.

“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!” one Twitter user wrote, according to Deadline.

“Which department gave her the right?” another Twitter user wrote. And another asked, “Who gave her the right to be exempt?”

Actress Nicole Kidman attends the Los Angeles special screening of “Boy Erased” at the Directors Guild of America theatre in Los Angeles on October 29, 2018. (ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

One user of the Chinese social media platform Weibo asked, “Why do foreigners have privileges?”

China-backed Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam apologized for the Kidman decision but noted that it was done in keeping with safety concerns.

“So this proves that it is not an exact science to deal with Covid-19, we have to continuously review the situation with the experts and take into account their advice to design our policies,” said Lam.

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