Reality TV Show ‘I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!’ Triggers Coronavirus Lockdown in Australia


ITV’s reality TV show I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! has been blamed for triggering a lockdown — which has affected thousands of Australians — after a crew member contracted the Chinese coronavirus.

The show is facing criticism after one of its make-up artists tested positive for the coronavirus, which led to around 135,000 people in the northern areas of the Australian state, New South Wales (NSW), into a seven-day lockdown on Tuesday, according to a report by ABC News.

“We can confirm that one of our crew members has tested positive to COVID-19. The crew member is fully vaccinated and was wearing PPE while at work,”  ITV told ABC News. “All close contacts of the crew member from within the ITV production have been identified,” the network added. “They are being tested and will isolate in accordance with NSW Health’s requirements.”

NSW Health / Vimeo

Before contracting the virus, the 31-year-old woman, who has not been identified, allegedly flew from Sydney to Ballina — a town in northern NSW — on Saturday under a work exemption, and then visited several establishments in northern NSW over the weekend, without checking-in or using a QR code.

In Australia, QR codes are displayed at establishments and other public locations, and people who visit them are required to check into the location, which Australian health officials say makes it easier for them to contact trace in the event of a coronavirus outbreak, according to ABC News.

Police reportedly say the woman breached the conditions of her work-related travel exemption by visiting the businesses and venues in Byron Bay and Kingscliff over the weekend.

People traveling from Sydney — which is still in lockdown — must stay at home when they are not working, according to a report by BBC News. The make-up artist has now reportedly been charged with multiple breaches of public health orders.

“We now have 135,000 people in lockdown due to the [alleged] actions of one person and one company, and I think that needs to be called to account,” said Chris Cherry, the mayor of Tweed, NSW.

Byron, NSW has also gone into a seven-day-lockdown over the incident.

In response to the lockdowns in northern NSW, the neighboring Australian state of Queensland reimplemented strict border restrictions on Wednesday. Australia reportedly has strict border restrictions, even between states.

“I am devastated to learn the lockdown of Byron and Tweed LGAs triggered by a so called ‘essential worker’ closing businesses, schools and ruining cross border progress,” tweeted Catherine Cusack, a member of the NSW legislative council, on Tuesday. “100% OUTRAGEOUS! Brad Hazzard massive fail – RESIGN!” Cusack added, calling on the state’s health minister to resign.

Australia has gone “full fascist” with its response to the Chinese virus, says Breitbart News’ James Delingpole, as police in Melbourne have reportedly been firing pepper spray and rubber bullets at men, women, and children protesting against compulsory coronavirus vaccine passports.

Thousands of people have defied the government’s stay at home orders to demonstrate against the increasingly authoritarian coronavirus restrictions in the Australian state of Victoria.

On Tuesday, the streets of Melbourne were plunged into chaos once again as anti-lockdown protesters clashed with riot police, forcing police vehicles to retreat as they smashed windows and hurled makeshift missiles.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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