Government Slammed For Letting Rita Ora Into Australia Ahead Of 40,000 Stranded Aussies
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The Australian government is under fire for letting Rita Ora into the country, despite there being around 40,000 still stranded overseas.
The singer is currently undergoing her mandatory 14 days in hotel quarantine ahead of her appearance as a coach on The Voice Australia.
After news of her arrival was made public, the Labor party took the opportunity to criticise the Morrison government for letting the pop star and her entourage into the country.
According to the Guardian, Senator Kristina Keneally said Ora's hotel quarantine would come at the expense of Australians desperately seeking to get home.
"It's another example of Scott Morrison leaving Australians behind," Ms Keneally said.
"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."
Labor leader Bill Shorten also condemned the move, saying: "The rich can pay to come and go and ordinary Aussies get the cold shoulder.
"As a local MP I've been inundated with Aussies still stuck all over the globe trying to get home.
"It's a disgrace that thousands of Australians who should have the protection of the kangaroo and emu on their passport are still left stranded overseas by the Morrison Government.
"Many of those people were encouraged in the first place by the Government not to rush home and overwhelm the system, but have now been abandoned."
Arrivals into Australia are currently limited to 4,250 a week, with New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian arrivals being temporarily halved in order to curb more infectious strains of Covid.
The limits are expected to be reviewed on February 15.
Sydney man Eran Ben-Avraham, who is stuck in Leeds, England, told Adelaide Now that he was angry Ora was able to jump the queue.
"I just think it's wrong, it's a slap in the face. Everyday Australians are forking out thousands to get home and celebrities are able to come and go as they please," he said.
Another Australian, who asked not to be named, said: "To be honest it's pretty disgusting and disheartening when you put it next to the stories over the weekend of the 34-year-old with stage 4 lung cancer having flights bumped.
"This is shameful. And pathetic. And actually just feels like a kick in the guts."
When asked to comment on the matter, Australian Border Force spokeswoman told the Guardian they do not comment on individual border exemptions.
It comes following another Covid-19 controversy involving Ora, who was busted back home for breaking lockdown restrictions in November to hold a 30th birthday party at a Notting Hill restaurant.
Following the drama, Ora apologised, saying she said she had made a 'serious and inexcusable error of judgment' and that it was a 'spur-of-the-moment decision'.
It was later revealed that the singer paid to rent out London's Casa Cruz restaurant, where the CCTVs were turned off for the night.
In a statement to police on December 1, former Casa Cruz boss Scottie Bhattarai said he was contacted by Rita's rep at 5.30 pm on the night of the event.
He added that the person wanted somewhere for 'drinks and nibbles' and offered $9,000 to hold the event, however, despite the plan being to have around seven guests at the restaurant, by 9 pm almost 20 guests had turned up.