- The Australian government is facing backlash for allowing Rita Ora to enter the country.
- The 30-year-old arrived in Sydney on Monday while 40,000 Australian citizens remain stranded abroad.
- Ora previously made headlines for breaking British COVID-19 safety rules.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The Australian government has been heavily criticized for allowing Rita Ora to enter the country while 40,000 Australian citizens remain stranded overseas.
Ora – who recently made headlines for breaching British COVID-19 safety protocols – arrived at a Sydney hotel on Monday for two weeks of mandatory quarantine ahead of filming scenes for her role as a coach on the Australian edition of the talent show “The Voice.”
Kristina Keneally, the home affairs spokeswoman for the opposition party, told The Guardian that Ora, who traveled with an entourage, had taken hotel quarantine space away from Australians who have been desperate to return home and displayed the government’s disregard for its own citizens.
“It’s another example of Scott Morrison [Australian Prime Minister] leaving Australians behind,” Keneally said. “There are still 40,000 Australians stranded overseas. Every celebrity who takes up a place in quarantine is a place denied to a stranded Australian.”
COVID-19 protocols in Australia mandate that anyone who arrives in the country must quarantine for 14 days at one of the government’s specially designated hotels. But last month, the number of international arrivals and hotel spaces in New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia were reduced to curb the spread of more infectious variants of the virus.
This means that only around 4,250 international arrivals are permitted each week.
However, there have been several reports of celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Mark Whalberg, and Tom Hanks being granted permission to skip the government’s strict hotel quarantine requirements and instead isolate at their own private residences, which has generated widespread backlash within Australia.
Last week, BBC News reported that Ora and her management team paid a restaurant in Notting Hill £5,000 ($6,848) to break British coronavirus lockdown rules for her 30th birthday party.
The 30-year-old had reportedly flown back from a private performance in Egypt a week before and should have been quarantining in line with British travel guidelines. The general manager of the restaurant later told police that between 15 to 20 people were present at the party. And, according to the BBC News report, Ora’s security team also asked for CCTV cameras to be turned off during the party.
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