AceShowbiz - Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban may be one of beloved celebrity couples, but that doesn't mean they can get around government regulations. That's why they have now landed in hot water after skipping Australia's mandatory quarantine.
On Monday, July 20, the couple and their two daughters, Faith and Sunday, flew into Sydney via private jet from their home in Tennessee. Upon arriving, they immediately retreated to their luxury Southern Highlands estate dubbed Sutton Forrest, instead of quarantining for 14 days in a state-approved hotel.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Australia law mandates that citizens returning from overseas must quarantine in a state-approved hotel for 14 days. However the New South Wales government can grant exemptions from staying at a hotel if there are "strong medical, health or compassionate grounds."
The New South Wales Government website notes that "exemptions are rare due to the high risk of not quarantining. They are only considered where there are strong medical, health or compassionate grounds."
After learning that Nicole and Keith were granted special permission to skip the mandatory quarantine, people took to Twitter to express their disappointment at the couple, accusing them of using their privilege as celebrities.
"Very disappointed in @NicoleKidman and @KeithUrban not going into quarantine like the rest of the people coming from overseas. The rich and privileged getting away with it again. Besides, we have plenty of talented Australians living here that could help with the film industry," one user reacted.
A fan commented on the issue, "I love Keith Urban and am waiting anxiously for the Speed of Now Part 1, so I kind of want to overlook it but they need to follow the rules, they are there for the protection of everyone."
A third user slammed the double standards that allowed this to happen, "This is how quarantine fails when procedures are not being followed. Double standard is not on! And you nailed it - they are here because of money! Money always talk!"
"Yeah, straight in from the US, no quarantine. I'm so over double standards and hypocrisy," another echoed the sentiment. Someone else slammed the couple, "Aren't this couple just happy to sing on their lounge in America - but now they are here. I am not a fan of these two."
There were a few, however, who defended Nicole and Keith, with one saying, "Anyone can apply for the exemption from hotel quarantine if they can provide evidence of being able to self isolate. Try to gain more information before critizing [sic] someone."
When asked to comment on the controversy, a representative for Keith pointed to information released by Screen NSW, an agency responsible for supporting the arts in New South Wales, about his wife's upcoming project. "Executive producer Kidman and her core team have been authorized to establish an isolated production hub under full police-supervised quarantine at her Southern Highlands property to allow pre-production to continue remotely through quarantine-similar to arrangements made by governments to support football clubs to train and prepare for matches," it states. "There will be no cost to the taxpayer."