British far-right commentator Katie Hopkins has been deported from Australia for shouting on social media that she would mess with the country’s quarantine rules.
Hopkins traveled to Australia specifically to participate in the reality TV show Big Brother VIP. She was in mandatory quarantine in a hotel for 14 days in Sydney before filming began.
Her arrival in Australia sparked outrage after the government cut the number of Australian citizens and permanent residents allowed to return home last week to 3,000 per week in a bid to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. More than 34,000 Australians who want to return home are stranded abroad.
Australia’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, have been closed to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus caused by the contagious Delta strain.
Home Secretary Karen Andrews said Hopkins will be fired after boasting on Instagram of her intent to violate quarantine rules. “It is appalling that this woman has acted in this way and is going to have to leave,” Andrews told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “We will deport her as soon as we can arrange that.”
Hopkins, also known for her anti-Muslim comments, called the lockdowns “the biggest hoax in human history” about the coronavirus crisis. In an Instagram video now deleted from her hotel room, she said she plans to scare hotel staff who brought meals to her door by confronting them naked and without masks.
Quarantined people are not allowed to open their hotel room doors until 30 seconds after their meals have been delivered and must wear face masks when the hotel door is open. Andrews called Hopkins’ comments embarrassing. “It is a slap in the face to all Australians who are currently in quarantine and it is totally unacceptable behaviour.”
Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia, the producers of the Big Brother VIP show in which Hopkins will appear, announced on Sunday that her contract has expired. “Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn their irresponsible and reckless comments in the hotel quarantine,” the two companies said in a joint statement.
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