Why Was Nicole Kidman Allowed to Skip COVID-19 Protocols in Hong Kong?

Because when you're rich and famous, the rules don't apply to you

Nicole Kidman
Nicole Kidman attends the 26th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 19, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Hong Kong is home to some of the strictest COVID-19 quarantine rules in the world at the moment, but it turns out there’s a way to get past them: you simply have to be a Hollywood star shooting a new TV show.

Nicole Kidman reportedly was granted a special exemption to the quarantine rules after arriving in the country via a private jet to film a forthcoming series for Amazon Video called Expats, which tells the story of three American women living in Hong Kong. The Oscar winner was spotted filming and shopping in Sai Wen after arriving from Sydney on Aug. 12.

Currently, all travelers arriving in Hong Kong from countries that have been deemed “medium” or “high” risk are required to quarantine in a hotel for 14 or 21 days at their own expense. During the quarantine period, travelers also must undergo four tests then self-monitor for the subsequent seven days, and then finally submit themselves to more compulsory testing on the 16th and 19th days after their arrival. Australia, where Kidman is from, is now in the “medium risk” category after a spike in COVID-19 cases, but the Hong Kong government confirmed she was granted an exemption because she is doing “designated professional work.”

“The case in discussion has been granted permission to travel to Hong Kong with a quarantine exemption for the purpose of performing designated professional work,” a statement from the government explaining Kidman’s situation reads, adding that the decision was “conducive to maintaining the necessary operation and development of Hong Kong’s economy.”

In other words, money talks, and if you happen to be a famous actress with a high-profile TV project to film, the rules don’t apply to you.

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