The Hong Kong government defended its decision to allow Nicole Kidman to enter the city without being subject to its strict hotel quarantine, suggesting that it had “struck a balance” between helping the Oscar-winning actress and maintaining its quarantine measures.

Speaking to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong commerce secretary Edward Yau Tang-wah revealed that a total of five members of the production crew working on the Amazon show Expats, including Kidman, were granted quarantine exemptions.

“These exemptions are not allowing anybody to be free, but rather there are a number of conditions attached to it.… These [conditions] are meant to contain the risks in a manageable manner. We often strike a balance between facilitation and epidemic control,” Yau said.

Kidman continues to face a backlash from local media and the Hong Kong public for skipping some of the strictest quarantine measures in the world, after the actress flew into the city via private jet from Sydney on Aug. 12.

Last week, the Australian star would have been, as per the usual rules for vaccinated people flying in from Sydney, subject to a seven-day quarantine in a government-approved hotel. As of today, vaccinated people arriving from Australia will have to quarantine for 14 days in a hotel as cases in the country spike from the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19.

Kidman is in Hong Kong shooting Expats, the Amazon series she is also executive producing. Based on Janice Y.K. Lee’s book The Expatriates, the series focuses on the lives of a group of close-knit wealthy and privileged women expatriates living in Hong Kong. Directed by Lulu Wang (The Farewell) and written by Alice Bell (The Slap), the cast includes Ji-young Yoo, Jack Huston and Sarayu Blue.

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