Lawmakers criticise movie star’s quarantine exemption

The government has come under heavy criticism from lawmakers over the exemption of Hollywood actress Nicole Kidman and her film crew from quarantine.

“Is that going to be a precedent? Does it mean that when people come to make films they will be exempted?” questioned Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien during a Legco panel meeting on Friday.

“I like Nicole Kidman but it seems that you’re giving her preferential treatment,” Tien added.

Priscilla Leung of the Business and Professionals Alliance also hit out at the decision.

“This is not just about political sensitivity, it has to do with health and safety and also unfairness,” said Leung.

In response, Health Secretary Sophia Chan said all those given exemptions had to follow strict rules and an approved itinerary.

“In that specific itinerary, it is dictated what they can do and they cannot do…they have to take all necessary measures to ensure safety,” said Chan.

Commerce Secretary Edward Yau explained the conditions they had to fulfil.

“For instance, full vaccination before departure, test upon arrival, confirmation of negative Covid results, designated place of stay and also very strict itinerary shared with us prior to making that trip,” he told reporters at a different event.

“Not to mention that they must use dedicated transport instead of public transport,” he said.

Yau added that the authorities will send staff to monitor the crew when they are out and about in the city, and so far no one has been found to have breached any social-distancing measures.