Just months after she made headlines for breaching UK COVID restrictions, the Australian government has been criticised for allowing British singer Rita Ora into the country ahead of stranded Aussies.
As The Guardian reports, Ora arrived in Sydney on Monday for an upcoming role on Channel Seven program The Voice, where she will serve as a guest coach. However, current Australian COVID regulations dictate that any international arrivals are forced to undergo compulsory quarantine for two weeks, meaning that Ora has taken up a spot in hotel quarantine desperately sought by other Australians currently overseas, unable to return home.
In a statement offered to The Guardian, opposition home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally explained that any celebrity allowed to visit the country under the circumstances results in one Australian denied the chance to return to their home country.
“It’s another example of Scott Morrison leaving Australians behind,” Keneally explained. “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.”
However, many have cited Rita Ora’s entrance into Australia – and particularly her compulsory hotel quarantine – as particularly egregious given her recent appearance in the headlines for breaching the UK’s COVID guidelines to host a birthday party.
In November of 2020, the artist returned home from a performance in Egypt, where UK regulations require a similar two-week isolation period. Instead, the artist hosted a 30-person gathering at a London restaurant, breaching restrictions which prohibits indoor mixing.
While Ora later issued an apology for her actions, it was recently revealed that the restaurant in question had been paid to breach COVID lockdown rules, with Ora’s security not only requesting CCTV to be turned off, but for the hard drives to be wiped days later, the BBC reports.
Rita Ora was last in Australia for a three-date tour in March of 2019.