Former Home And Away star Isabel Lucas “opted out” of being tested for COVID-19 while filming in Byron Bay last month – despite producers saying a test was a mandatory condition of participation.
Lucas, who was shooting the feature film Bosch & Rockit, revealed in September on the Alfa Vedic podcast that she’d chosen not to get tested.
“I gave my duty of care of what I could offer to respect everyone’s health and maintain my own health, and I shared that, and I opted out of doing the COVID test,” the actor, who has previously said she “doesn’t trust” vaccination, said.
“Everyone was really respectful and really honouring of, like, how to maintain health while this very tricky time is underway. But I needed to do that. I felt like it was quite an understanding, relaxed group of people.
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“My immune system has just become so solid from my way of life, how I live and eat and think. So it was a really beautiful experience all up, even though people were wearing masks most of the time and adhering to those rules.”
In a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald, however, the producers said they were unaware Lucas had not followed the film’s COVID-Safe guidelines.
“Every cast and crew member was required to sign an acknowledgment that they would adhere to the COVID-Safe guidelines adopted by the production, which included an acknowledgment that they had been COVID-tested prior to principal photography,” Black Pearl Productions said.
“Isabel’s recent statement that was not tested is inconsistent with the producers’ understanding that she had complied with the COVID-Safe guidelines adopted by the production.”
No cast or crew working on the production were infected with COVID-19, according to a report from 9 News, however Lucas’ statement has sparked concern with industry professionals. The report claims due to medical privacy restrictions, actors had a personal responsibility to ensure they were tested.
In April this year Lucas spoke out about her stance on vaccines, saying she didn’t “trust the path” of vaccination. She also urged people to look to alternative medicines to treat coronavirus.
After Lucas made the comments, she was dropped as the ambassador for the Girl’s Rights charity Plan International Australia — a role she’d taken on just a month earlier. The charity said at the time they were “aware of the issue” and had come to an agreement with Lucas to “end the partnership”.
Lucas later made comments in an Instagram post, asking if freedom of speech was at risk.
“Freedom of speech is a human right – is it a risk,” she asked.
“My family raised me to believe that’s wise to calmly question important topics in my community. Recently I’ve been saddened to witness friends being labelled or attacked for respectfully questioning and examining certain topics. Topics that are not only relevant to the potential health and safety of their own families, but to everyone on the planet.”
Lucas went on to discuss 5G technology, and whether it could be linked to illness in the lengthy post.
In April after Lucas’ views received considerable media coverage, she released a statement clarifying her stance on vaccines.
“I’d like to clarify a misunderstanding that the media recently reported on my behalf. I have concerns around ‘mandatory’ vaccination, not vaccination itself,” Lucas said.
“Moving forward, I’d like to welcome and invite cohesive, clear and calm communication around ‘mandatory’ vaccines, ethical vaccine testing and how to support every human being to have the right to freedom of choice. Thank you.”