Matt Damon skips NSW hotel quarantine
Hollywood heavyweight Matt Damon has begun 14 days of private quarantine after jetting Down Under with his family last week to begin filming the Marvel blockbuster Thor: Love and Thunder.
The Damon family will isolate at a private residence in New South Wales at their own expense for the duration of the two weeks prior to filming.
"I'm so excited that my family and I will be able to call Australia home for the next few months," Damon said in a statement.
"Australian film crews are world renowned for their professionalism and are a joy to work with so the 14 days of quarantine will be well worth it.
"Australia definitely is the lucky country, and I can't wait to show my family Australia's down to earth people, breathtaking scenery and diverse culture."
Last year it was claimed that the Oscar winner purchased a $22 million waterfront mansion in Byron Bay near his friends the Hemsworths, however a source would not confirm where the star is quarantining.
Damon, his wife Luciana Barroso and their daughters will undergo standardised COVID testing under the direction of the NSW government's COVID-19 quarantine program.
"The family will be entirely segregated for the period of their quarantine and will participate in standardised testing and monitoring, in full compliance with current NSW Government requirements," said Dr Zac Turner, CEO of Concierge Doctors.
"NSW Police are also present to ensure the quarantine of the Damons is enforced. By undertaking quarantine in this way at their own cost, the Damons are subject to the same medical requirements that apply to everyone else entering NSW and importantly, their arrival in no way impacts the capacity available to bring Australians home."
Damon, 50, follows the likes of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban, who made headlines last year when they skipped mandatory hotel quarantine and were granted permission to isolate at their sprawling Southern Highlands estate with daughters Sunday Rose, 12, and Faith Margaret, nine.
The Damon family's Immigration Lawyer Rebekah O'Sullivan said, "Every aspect of the Damon family's relocation and quarantine has been privately arranged and funded, ensuring that their entry will in no way impact or reduce the number of spaces for Australians overseas waiting to return home nor create any burden to the Australian taxpayer whatsoever."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed Damon's arrival.
"Hollywood's superstar Matt Damon joining our homegrown talent to film such a major movie in NSW is a big win creating thousands of jobs for locals," Morrison said.
"Australia's management of COVID-19 and our Government's tax incentives have ensured that our film industry is booming with many new jobs for actors as well electricians, carpenters, cooks, security staff, bus drivers and a massive boost for NSW."
Thor: Love and Thunder, which also stars Natalie Portman and Christian Bale, is expected to spend around $178 million, use the services of around 1,650 local Australian businesses and create up to 2,500 jobs in NSW and use the services of around 1,650 businesses. Marvel Studios will provide a local trainee scheme to target skills shortages and get more Australians into the film industry.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet applauded the arrival of the Damon family as part of the growing international film industry within NSW.
"The NSW Government is incredibly pleased to welcome Mr Damon and his family to NSW and proud to support the Australian film industry," said Perrottet.
"In particular, the recent announcements by several studios and film production companies, including Marvel, represent a fantastic economic boom for NSW with numerous new jobs and opportunities for local NSW businesses and the likely positive effects on mental health that will hopefully come with increased job opportunities in the NSW community."
Originally published as Matt Damon skips NSW hotel quarantine