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Nicole Kidman Hong Kong quarantine exemption to film TV series sparks immediate backlash

Nicole Kidman Hong Kong quarantine exemption to film TV series sparks immediate backlash

Nicole Kidman 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Red Carpet
https://twitter.com/campbell_kang/status/1428201919504273416

Hong Kong’s decision to grant Nicole Kidman a quarantine exemption as she films an Amazon-funded series about the lives of wealthy ex-pats 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.

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.

Nicole Kidman The 24th Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Arrivals
Nicole Kidman attends the 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 13, 2019 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Getty Images)

That said, Kidman, 54, has been allowed to circumvent those rules.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement that Kidman was granted an exemption from quarantine for “performing designated professional work, taking into account that it is conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of Hong Kong’s economy.”

Those exempted must take three coronavirus tests over two weeks following their arrival.

Nicole Kidman 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
Nicole Kidman attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

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.

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Nicole Kidman Michael Kors Collection Spring 2020 Runway Show - Front Row
Nicole Kidman attends the Michael Kors Collection Spring 2020 Runway Show on September 11, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Lawrence Busacca/Getty Images for Michael Kors)

The Oscar-winning actress’ presence in Hong Kong after dodging some of the most stringent quarantine rules in the world has caused consternation in the press and on social media.

Hong Kong mandates vaccinated residents and non-residents coming from “high-risk” countries to spend as long as 21 days in hotel quarantine upon arrival, besides a host of other requirements.

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