Hong Kong defends decision to allow Nicole Kidman to skip quarantine

“These exemptions are not allowing anybody to be free”

The Hong Kong government has defended its decision to allow Nicole Kidman to enter the region without adhering to quarantine rules.

Kidman has faced criticism from Hong Kong citizens and local media for skipping COVID-19 quarantine measures after flying in via private jet from Sydney, Australia on August 12.

Last week, anyone flying into Hong Kong from Australia would have been subject to seven-days quarantine in a government-approved hotel. The rules changed today (August 20) in response to the rapid spread of the delta variant within the country, with vaccinated people arriving from Australia having to quarantine for 14 days.

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Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong commerce secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah has now defended the decision  – stating it had “struck a balance” between maintaining quarantine measures and helping the actress.

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman. CREDIT: Amy Sussman/Getty Images

“These exemptions are not allowing anybody to be free, but rather there are a number of conditions attached to it… These [conditions] are meant to contain the risks in a manageable manner,” Yau said.

“We often strike a balance between facilitation and epidemic control.”

A total of five crew members, including Kidman, were allowed exemptions in order to film within Hong Kong for the Amazon show Expats – based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s book The Expatriates.

The show, executive-produced by and starring Kidman, follows the lives of three women, who are intertwined by traumatic events, who have moved from the USA to Hong Kong.

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Helmed by The Farewell director Lulu Wang, Expats also stars Ji-young Yoo (Spider-Man: Far From Home), Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) and Sarayu Blue (Sons of Tucson).

Kidman is also set to play Lucille Ball in upcoming biopic Being The Ricardos, written and directed by Aaron Sorkin.

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