Travellers holed up in hotel quarantine have expressed outrage after an A-list couple became the latest celebrities to receive special permission to head straight to their luxurious homes.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman, her country music singer husband Keith Urban and their two daughters touched down in Sydney in a private jet from the US on Monday morning.
But unlike other travellers who are whisked away in buses to quarantine in hotels for 14 days, the family reportedly headed to their sprawling $6.5million mansion in the Southern Highlands south-west of Sydney.
Instead up being cooped up in a room while avoiding the hefty hotel quarantine bill, Kidman and her family have 45 hectares to roam during their fortnight of self-isolation, along with access to their own swimming pool, gym and full-sized tennis court.
Keith Urban and wife Nicole Kidman are now enjoying two weeks of quarantine at home
It comes a week after The Masked Singer judge Dannii Minogue and her young son Ethan were granted medical exemption to quarantine at a private property on the Gold Coast after arriving from the US.
Reports of Kidman and Urban’s quiet homecoming has sparked widespread anger, led by former federal Senator Derryn Hinch.
‘How come? How can people with names like Minogue and Kidman get to do their 14-day Covid quarantine at private estates and not in hotels?,’ Mr Hinch tweeted on Monday.
The news also sparked fury from a British citizen currently holed up in Sydney’s Intercontinental Hotel who had his exemption rejected.
The man told Daily Mail Australia he was desperate to reunite and spend as much time with his terminally-ill mother living in country New South Wales.
Derryn Hinch lashed out over reported Australian celebrities are skipping hotel quarantine
Dannii Minogue (pictured) is enjoying her time in self-isolation at a private property on the Gold Coast after returning from the US last week
‘The reason why I have come to Australia is because my mum who lives in Orange, NSW is terminally ill with a rare aggressive form of blood cancer, I have been told my application for hotel exemption has not been granted even after testing negative for Covid-19,’ the British citizen said.
‘Do you think it’s really fair that people like Dannii Minogue and Nicole Kidman can swan off to their private homes because they’re famous and have money to throw around whilst I’m in a hotel room not being able to spend precious time with my mum?
‘I think the government should really take a look at itself if it’s going to put people first who have money.’
Mr Hinch’s furious tweet sparked a divided public reaction.
‘The rich get richer, the poor get the picture. It’s disgraceful ANYONE receives an exemption. The comments here telling people “to get over it” are from those who just don’t get it. We’re all in this together, my a***,’ one man commented.
Thumbs up! Nicole Kidman, husband Keith Urban and their two daughters greeted photographers through the darkened glass of their vans
Isolating in luxury: Instead of two weeks of hotel quarantine, Nicole and Keith are staying at their Southern Highlands estate (pictured), which boasts traditional sandstone verandahs, pressed metal ceilings, a grand cedar staircase and 10 original marble fireplaces
But many others came to the defence of the celebrities.
‘What does it matter. She is covering all costs and bringing lots of people and money with her,’ one person commented.
Another added: ‘Who cares where they do it? As long as the protocols are followed it’s a dead issue. This making something out of nothing.’
Billionaire media baron Kerry Stokes and his wife also were granted an exemption after flying home on their private jet to Perth from the US in April.
A spokesperson for Stokes said the businessman had undergone a recent medical procedure.
The couple’s fortnight of self-isolation at their ritzy mansion came weeks after Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan declared there would be ‘no exemptions’ to the federal government’s strict hotel quarantine rules announced a month earlier.
After touching down in a private jet on Monday morning, Kidman and her family were whisked away in two vans for a health check before being brought back to the jet hanger where they were met by waiting limos for the 120-kilometre drive home.
Kidman has returned to Australia with her family for filming of her upcoming television series, Nine Perfect Strangers.
Filming in the Southern Highlands will begin on August 10 and will run for 19 weeks.
Cast and crew members flying from overseas or interstate for filming for Kidman’s latest project will be made to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days upon their arrival in NSW.
Kerry Stokes (pictured) is another big name who has enjoyed self-isolation at home
NSW Health states on its website that all people returning from overseas must quarantine in a hotel under public health orders.
‘There are special circumstances where a person could be exempt from the Public Health Order and able to self-isolate at home,’ their website states.
‘Exemptions are only considered where there are strong medical, health or compassionate grounds, or the person is transiting out of NSW to an international destination other than a Pacific Island country.’
The NSW government has forked out more than $65 million on quarantine accommodation to house overseas travellers returning to Australia since March.
Returned travellers were forced to start forking out the bill for their hotel quarantine earlier this month, which is $3000 for one adult and $1000 per additional adult and $500 per additional child aged over the age of three.