Hollywood heavyweight Tom Hanks is in hotel quarantine in Queensland after touching down on Australian soil this week.
He returned to Coolangatta in a private jet on Tuesday to finish filming Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.
When Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was asked in parliament on Wednesday whether the actor had been forced to complete his quarantine in a hotel, she did not deny he had been granted an exemption – sparking incorrect media reports and an attack from opposition leader Deb Frecklington.
The premier seemed to suggest Hanks had been allowed to quarantine in a private residence under the entertainment industry’s approved COVID-safe plan.
“The industry plan for COVID in relation to the screen industry is a plan that has been approved, just like there is for the resources industry, just like there is for the agriculture industry,” she said.
“Under that plan, they have to stay in the place for two weeks, just like everybody else.
“They will have random checks, as is my understanding, by police.”
Ms Frecklington said it was “blatant” and “shocking” double standards.
“It shouldn’t be one rule for VIPs and celebrities and another rule for everyone else,” she said.
“Everyday Australians don’t get to pick and choose where they quarantine and neither should celebrities.
“Today we’ve tragically heard about how four children in NSW are unable to visit their father dying of cancer at the Prince Charles Hospital.
“Labor are quick to rollout the red carpet for Dannii Minogue and Tom Hanks but won’t lift a finger to help this family see their dying father.”
Ms Palaszczuk’s office later confirmed Hanks was in hotel quarantine.
Filming for the Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic was suspended in March after the coronavirus crisis started to reach its peak.
Hanks and his wife Rita both contracted the virus – reportedly before they arrived in Australia.
The 63-year-old couple were treated at a specialist ward at Gold Coast University Hospital before returning to the US where they carried on social distancing and isolating.
“We’re home now and, like the rest of America, we carry on with sheltering in place and social distancing,” Hanks posted to Twitter in April.
“Many, many thanks to everyone in Australia who looked after us. Their care and guidance made possible our return to the USA.”
Hanks plays Presley’s manager Colonel Parker in the $105 million biopic.