Billionaire Lord Alan Sugar is currently quarantining in Sydney, no doubt ahead of production on Celebrity Apprentice Australia, but is attracting headlines while expat Aussies are unable to get home.
Yesterday he tweeted:
He also confirmed he is in a “strict 14 day quarantine” although it isn’t revealed if he is in hotel quarantine.
Nine-owned newspapers report he secured one of the estimated 30 seats on an Emirates flight from London to Sydney this week. In August, Lord Sugar also used Twitter to seek help from British Airways in getting to Australia.
“I find it a bit rich that Emirates would fly Lord Sugar, a non-Australian, who hasn’t flown commercially for 25 years, so never with Emirates, when I am a Gold Member, have spent thousands of dollars to get that, and yet cannot get back from London,” said one stranded Aussie.
“What ‘essential business’ is Lord Sugar travelling on? A TV show appearance?”
Another returnee said, “The Australian government should be ashamed that it has abandoned its own citizens during a global pandemic, and welcomed elites with open arms.”
The federal government banned foreigners from entering the country in March but exemptions can be obtained by applying to the Border Force Commissioner. Carriers are offering only first or business class tickets to try to recover costs for each flight and some have stopped selling tickets to Australia altogether.
But Sugar is not the only visiting international welcomed as for screen production. Hulu drama Nine Perfect Strangers is filming in NSW with Melissa McCarthy, Luke Evans, Manny Jacinto, ABC resumed production on Wakefield, and Tom Hanks is on the Gold Coast for Baz Lurhmann’s Elvis project. In July, the government also announced a $400 million incentive to attract film and television productions to Australia.
The Celebrity Apprentice Australia is being produced by Warner Bros., who also make The Masked Singer, and The Bachelor franchise, amongst others.