Rita Ora was pictured jetting into Sydney International Airport on Monday as she prepares to undergo a 14 day hotel quarantine ahead of working on The Voice Australia.
The singer has been permitted to leave the UK during lockdown as she flew to Sydney for work commitments, and will become a coach on the Australian version of the hit singing competition.
The work trip comes after Rita was branded ‘selfish’ by British police for holding a lockdown-flouting 30th birthday bash at west London restaurant Casa Cruz in November.
Rita – who is also said to be struggling in her relationship with boyfriend Romain Gavras – will now isolate in a Sydney hotel for two weeks after landing, to adhere to the country’s strict travel regulations amid the global coronavirus pandemic.
Army escort: Rita Ora was pictured jetting into Sydney International Airport on Monday as she prepares to undergo a 14 day hotel ahead of working on The Voice Australia
Prior to her trip, a source told The Sun: ‘It’s obviously a bit of a pain but she knows she will have to do it just like everyone else.
‘She’s excited to start work on The Voice but nobody is going to let her do that until she has done the quarantine, so it’s one of those things.’
They added: ‘She’s had enough controversy after the birthday incident so just wants to keep her head down now and get back to work.’
Ensuring that visitors touching down at Sydney airport adhere to the country’s strict rules, the Australian army and police service were on hand to greet the singer, and kindly helped with her luggage.
The Hot Right Now hitmaker will have to travel directly from the airport to her designated qurantine hotel – which is pre-arranged and not up to travellers to book.
Testing takes place on day two and 10 of the isolation period, with a negative test allowing people to leave on day 14. While 14 days is the standard amount of time in isolation, if Rita were to refuse to comply she could be held for up to 24 days.
Permitted: The singer has been permitted to leave the UK during lockdown as she flew to Sydney for work commitments, and will become a coach on the Australian version of the hit singing competition
Lockdown-flouting: It comes after Rita was branded ‘selfish’ by police for holding a lockdown-flouting 30th birthday bash at west London restaurant Casa Cruz in November [Rita pictured far left at the event]
Amid the scandal, Rita is also said to be struggling in her relationship with boyfriend Romain Gavras. It’s reported that the couple are ‘under strain’ following Rita’s controversial slew of lockdown rule breaks.
Adding to this, as Rita appears to now be following the rules – it kept her apart from Romain, 39, due to travel restrictions and lockdown.
While a source told MailOnline that ‘Romain has been really supportive of Rita over the last few months’, another told The Sun: ‘They are struggling being apart from each other.
‘It’s difficult not knowing when restrictions will ease. It feels as if they are on the rocks!’
Laden down: Rita was seen with a mountain of suitcases as she prepared for her extended break in Australia – which will begin with 14 days in isolation as she quarantines in a hotel
Bad to worse: Rita Ora and her boyfriend Romain Gavras are reportedly struggling in their relationship as the COVID-19 crisis rages on [pictured last summer]
Reports of relationship woes came as the singer’s lockdown-flouting 30th birthday bash in November came back to haunt her once more, as she was branded ‘selfish’ by police.
The infamous birthday party at Casa Cruz saw Rita branded ‘selfish’, the manager of the restaurant sacked and the venue facing losing its licence.
A hearing of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday heard how representatives for the singer offered the since-sacked manager £5,000 for the illegal opening – and the Notting Hill venue now faces losing its licence.
Charles Holland, who is representing the Met Police’s application, said at the hearing, held online due to COVID-19 restrictions, that Rita ‘selfishly wanted to flout the lockdown for financial gain and selfish pleasure’.
He said at the hearing: ‘Police were advised that a party was being held on November 28 at the venue, Casa Cruz.
‘They were told large groups of people had arrived via the back door of the club, there was security and loud music was being played and this was all during the second national lockdown.
‘At the time venues had to close and stop providing food and drink,people were told to stay at home and it was unlawful to gather in groups of two or more.
‘What transpired was that the premises was hosting a party for a Ms Rita Ora, a well known celebrity.
‘The then manager at the time Scotti Bhattarai had been contacted and offered £5,000 for the use of the premises, he agreed and has admitted he was being greedy.’
With most of the venue’s staff on furlough during a time that the country was locked in a second lockdown, he travelled to the venue himself to ‘facilitate’ the bash – an action for which he has since admitted he was ‘greedy’.
It has been claimed that security for the entourage wanted ‘no recordings of the attendees’ with CCTV said to be turned off at between 6pm and 6:30pm at the upscale London eatery on 28 November.
Police found that the CCTV hard drive had been reformatted on the 30 November at 3:15pm, two days after the party, with ‘no stored footage available’ before or the preceding 31 days.
Australia’s quarantine system and how a sex scandal prompted a second wave
Entry to Australia is closed except to citizens and those with an exemption – with all travellers required to quarantine for 14 days.
The quarantine takes place at a designated facility, such as a hotel.
Accommodation is pre-arranged and not up to travellers to book.
In some parts of the country, travellers are expected to pay toward the cost of their stay.
Testing takes place on day two and 10 of the isolation period, with a negative test allowing people to leave on day 14.
While 14 days is the standard amount of time in isolation, people who refuse to comply can be held for up to 24 days.
Last summer a second-wave of Covid in Melbourne was revealed to be caused by security guards at one of the designated facilities sleeping with quarantined guests and taking them to nearby shops.
Premier of the state of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, told the Herald Sun in July that there had been a ‘handful’ of breaches by staff at hotels including Stamford Plaza and Rydges on Swanston hotel, also in Melbourne, where isolated travellers were staying.
The scandal plunged Melbourne back into lockdown after 31 cases of Covid were linked to the Stamford Plaza.
In a statement to police on 1 December, publicly available in a licence review for Casa Cruz, former boss Scottie Bhattarai also claimed that Rita’s team allegedly offered £5,000 to use the venue.
The document claims: ‘The security for the entourage wanted no recordings of the attendees – Rita Ora etc, to be made, hence the DPS decided to turn off the CCTV in the premises at between 1800 & 1830.
‘He also stated that CCTV was faulty prior and scheduled for repair.’
In the report, police found that the CCTV hard drive had been reformatted on the 30 November at 3:15pm with ‘no stored footage available before that time, or the preceding 31 days.’
Mr Bhattarai also claimed that he was contacted by representatives of Ora on Saturday 28 November at 5:30pm in ‘relation to holding an event inside the premises for “drinks and nibbles”‘ where they allegedly offered £5,000 to use the venue.
He said that due to staff being furloughed, he ‘attended the restaurant to facilitate the event’, admitting that he was ‘greedy’.
Mr Bhattarai added that the group attended the venue at 7pm with a planned 7-8 guests, however, by around 9pm, there were about 17 people, who brought their own alcohol to the restaurant, including bottles of Ora’s tequila brand.
He added that guests who attended the bash were supermodel Cara Delevingne and her actress sister Poppy. They were also both pictured at the event.
The document adds: ‘Mr Bhattarai was aware of the breach in COVID laws, taking full responsibility for facilitating this event without the knowledge of the licensee.’
Mr Bhattarai also stated that at the the time no payment had been taken, he was unwilling to pass on the organiser’s details.
Also in the document, police said that they arrived at the scene at 11:32pm after receiving allegations of a breach of Covid regulations.
Officers were unable to get a ‘clear view’ through windows, which were blacked out, but were able to spot through gaps mask-free attendees and glasses.
Police say that they knocked on windows and doors but got no response although music is said to have stopped.
Rita was caught twice flouting lockdown rules in November. The Mail On Sunday revealed that prior to her birthday bash, the singer flew by private jet to Cairo on November 21 to perform at the five-star W Hotel.
She returned the next day and under Government quarantine rules should have self-isolated for 14 days.
Instead of this, she threw a birthday party on November 28 at the exclusive Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, West London.
For this she apologised with the following statement: ‘Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.
‘It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK… I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.
‘This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
I’m sorry: Rita offered an apology on social media and said she felt ‘particularly embarrassed’ after her party was revealed
‘I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.’
She paid the hefty £10k fine for breaching these protocols, having been reported to the police, who investigated the restaurant, which, to any passers-by, looked to be closed up.
Statement: In a statement to police on 1 December, publicly available in a licence review for Casa Cruz which took place on Thursday, former boss Scottie Bhattarai (pictured) also claimed that Rita’s team allegedly offered £5,000 to use the venue
She was also forced into another grovelling apology for breaching strict coronavirus rules by flying to Cairo and not isolating on return.
Rita said: ‘I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities.
‘Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed Government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow Government advice and… I apologise again, unreservedly.
‘While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example.
‘My message to them is simple: please don’t. The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the Government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions.’
She added: ‘I hope to one day make it up to the public who have given me so much support over the years and, in particular, make it up to the heroes of the NHS…
‘In the meantime, I will be donating my fee from Egypt to charity. Be better than I have been and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to learn the hard way yourselves.’
Guests: Mr Bhattarai added that the group attended the venue at 7pm with a planned 7-8 guests, however, by around 9pm, there were about 17 people, who brought their own alcohol to the restaurant, including bottles of Ora’s tequila brand (Rita pictured on her birthday)
A spokesman for the star, estimated to be worth £10 million, said she and her team had all subsequently tested negative for coronavirus.
Police were called to Rita’s party in November and the Met Police gave a statement to MailOnline at the time.
They said: ‘Police were called at 21:10hrs on Saturday, 28 November to reports of a potential breach of Covid regulations at a commercial premises in Clarendon Road, W11.
‘Officers attended and carried out enquiries at the scene. They found no record of any offence being committed.’
Rita has not commented publicly on the new details that have been reported surrounding her birthday, but has courted the press with interviews about her new film, Twist, which has been universally panned by critics.
Rita will now have two weeks in isolation ahead of her role on The Voice Australia.
Although Rita is expected to follow Australia’s hotel quarantine rules, Hollywood stars, Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, were said to have been exempt, and instead spent the mandatory 14 days isolation in rented properties.
7News reported in September that Hanks, 64, who has been in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic, and film crew were allowed to isolate in a luxury resort at Broadbeach.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk also confirmed Hanks was exempt from quarantine under the film industry’s COVID-safe plan.
While Damon’s, 50, immigration lawyer explained earlier this month that the actor had ‘privately arranged and funded’ his two-week isolation with his wife and children so as not to create ‘any burden to the Australian taxpayer whatsoever’.
The star, who is preparing to film Thor: Love and Thunder, is said to have initially quarantined for two weeks in a ski lodge in America, where he was tested for Covid-19 every three days.
Exempt: Hollywood stars, Tom Hanks and Matt Damon, were said to have been exempt from Australia’s hotel quarantine and instead spent the mandatory 14 days isolation in rented properties (Hanks pictured in February, left, and Damon pictured in 2019, right)
Damon and his family then jetted to Australia in a private jet and moved into a rented house, where they are paying for their own private security, police monitoring, hospital-grade cleaning, staff, meals and regular medical checks.
Meanwhile several tennis players are currently isolating ahead of the Australian Open, which will kick off in Melbourne on February 8.
On Wednesday, tennis great Serena Williams praised the strict quarantine system despite admitting the ‘super intense’ two-week stay is ‘insane’.
Other stars including Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic are also quarantining in Adelaide and are allowed out for five hours a day to train.
Praise: Meanwhile several tennis players are currently isolating ahead of the Australian Open, which will kick off in Melbourne on February 8, with tennis great Serena Williams praising the strict quarantine system (pictured in September)