Katie Hopkins has been deported from Australia after ‘joking’ about breaching hotel quarantine rules and calling Covid lockdowns the ‘greatest hoax in human history.’
The controversial British commentator, 46, boarded a Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney at 3pm on Monday after her critical skills visa was torn up by the Federal Government.
Hopkins had flown in to Australia last week to appear on Celebrity Big Brother once she had finished her mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Deported: The controversial British commentator (pictured), 46, boarded a Singapore Airlines flight from Sydney at 3pm on Monday
Hopkins did not wear her mask properly as she went though security at Sydney Airport
Hopkins carried her own luggage into the Airport after being dropped off by quarantine staff
Hopkins was escorted by NSW Police to Sydney airport after having her visa cancelled
But during her stay in a Sydney hotel room, she shared an Instagram Live video in which she joked about deliberately breaking Covid rules by opening her door naked and mask-free to the workers who deliver her food.
‘The police officer who checked me in told me, when they knock on my door I have to wait 30 seconds until I can open the door’ she said while breaking out into hysterics.
Hopkins said she was ‘lying in wait’ to ‘spring [the door] open and frighten the s*** out of them and do it naked with no face mask.’
Hopkins had flown in to Australia last week to appear on Celebrity Big Brother after finishing her mandatory 14-day quarantine. She is pictured leaving the country
Hopkins was told to leave the country after she joked about breaching quarantine rules
Hopkins wore sunglasses as she walked into the international terminal on Monday afternoon
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said of Hopkins: ‘I hadn’t heard of her before and I don’t want to hear about her ever again’. Pictured: Hopkins at Sydney Airport
Hopkins has criticised lockdowns and mask wearing during the Covid-19 pandemic
After the comments sparked huge backlash, Channel Seven dropped Hopkins from the show and her visa was cancelled.
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said on Monday morning: ‘I hadn’t heard of her before and I don’t want to hear about her ever again.
‘I thought it was just shameful, the fact that she was out there boasting about breaching quarantine was just appalling,’ she told the ABC.
‘It was a slap in the face for all those Australians who are currently in lockdown and it’s just unacceptable behaviour.’
Some 12 million Australians in Victoria and Greater Sydney are in lockdown over an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant which began on June 16.
Under one of the toughest Covid border policies in the world, Australia is only allowing 3,035 people a week to enter the country via 14-day hotel quarantine, leaving 40,000 Aussies stranded overseas.
But foreigners with critical skills visas are not always included in the cap because they are deemed to bring ‘economic benefit’ to the country.
‘There are very well established processes and procedures for people to enter this country and many decisions are made on the basis of economic benefit,’ Ms Andrews said.
The minister said her department approved Hopkins’ visa at the request of the New South Wales government.
‘It was the State Government that came to us with an application to bring in this individual to effectively increase the economic opportunities in that particular State,’ she said.
Ms Andrews praised the Australian Border Force for dealing with Hopkins’ visa revocation swiftly over the weekend.
‘I think we should have been looking to increase our hotel quarantine caps back to where they were and potentially beyond as soon as possible, because there are many Australians who want to come home,’ she said.
Hopkins is known for her contentious views on race, sex, class, obesity and migration.
A Channel Seven spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia on Sunday: ‘Seven Network and Endemol Shine Australia confirm that Katie Hopkins is not part of Big Brother VIP.
‘Seven and Endemol Shine strongly condemn her irresponsible and reckless comments in hotel quarantine.’
WHO IS KATIE HOPKINS?
Katie Hopkins is a well-known media personality and commentator in the UK.
The 46-year-old mum-of-two rose to fame on The Apprentice in 2007 and soon became an outspoken household name, writing in several newspapers.
She came runner-up in the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, becoming popular among some for her no-nonsense attitude, and loathed by others for her controversial comments.
Hopkins is known for her contentious views on race, sex, class, obesity and migration.
She once had a popular radio show on UK station LBC, but stepped away after writing on Twitter that a ‘final solution’ was needed to deal with terrorists. Many thought this was a reference to the Holocaust.
She was permanently banned from Twitter in June 2020.
On Sunday, the hosts of The Project slammed Seven for its decision to hire Hopkins.
Jan Fran, a comedian and regular panelist on the show, said: ‘What was someone expecting when they did hire Katie Hopkins to do this? She’s a troll. She courts controversy. They knew that is what she would bring to the Big Brother house.’
‘It’s telling she changed her mind because she’s flouted Covid restrictions, not because of the heinous things that she’s been saying for years and years.’
Fran went on to express disgust over Hopkins’ use of the term ‘Final Solution’, which is used to refer to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust.
Her co-host Peter van Onselen agreed: ‘They want controversy but maybe didn’t think it would lead as far as this.
‘She will go back to the UK and complain about us and build her brand locally off what we’ve done even though what we’ve done is the right thing.’
‘Don’t you think this is what Channel Seven wanted? It cost them, how much is an economy ticket from the UK, $150,000?’ Lisa Wilkinson chimed in, joking.
‘That’s all it’s cost them which is cheaper than a marketing budget’.
Hopkins, who recently flew to Sydney on a ‘critical skills’ visa ahead of her appearance on Seven’s all-star season of Big Brother, caused public backlash over the weekend after claiming she was planning to deliberately flout restrictions while staying in hotel quarantine.
At 5am on Saturday, Hopkins took to Instagram live to post a speech where she ‘called out’ the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne.
During the video, Hopkins openly mocked the 14-day hotel quarantine rules revealing she planned to deliberately break them by opening her door completely naked and mask-free to workers who deliver her food.
‘The police officer who checked me in told me, when they knock on my door I have to wait 30 seconds until I can open the door,’ she says while breaking out into hysterics. ‘I can open the door but I can only do it in a face mask.’
However, on Sunday, Hopkins denied she broke quarantine rules in Sydney, writing on Instagram.
‘WARNING: EXTREME HUMOUR. I have never broken quarantine,’ she wrote in her caption.
‘My whole heart goes out to Australians and this brilliant country known for sense of humour. Families MUST be reunited.
‘Auzzies [sic] need the dignity of work and lockdown is the Greatest Hoax in Human History. Do not give up my darlings. Bring Australians home,’ she added.
Hopkins often makes posts mocking mask mandates and lockdowns on Instagram since being banned from Twitter in June last year for ‘hateful conduct’
Australia’s response to Covid-19 has been praised by scientists including top US medic Dr Anthony Fauci, who called the country a world leader on ‘containment and management of emerging variants’.
The country, which is geographically isolated from the European and American epidemics and enjoys a low population density like New Zealand, has imposed tougher border measures than most, including the UK – and imposed snap lockdowns to reduce community transmission.
While Hopkins laughed off Australia’s Covid lockdown restrictions and quarantine rules, the mother-of-three claimed in 2017 that she isn’t ‘anti-vaccine’, saying all her children were up to date with their flu-jabs.
Despite her amusement at her own antics, which she described as ‘a game’, other travellers stuck in hotel quarantine were outraged by her behaviour.
Posting to the closed Facebook group ‘Australians in quarantine facilities’ one user wrote: ‘This is abhorrent…some people are racing against time with the quarantine trying to get to family members. This is really cruel and sick.’
’Anyone else who has just returned home like me, too ashamed to admit how ashamed I am of my own country right now?’ wrote another traveller.
‘What has happened to Aussie spirit, our heart, mates looking after mates, the Govt caring about its own people. Has it been lost over the last few years?
‘…It makes my blood boil that so many fellow Aussies are stranded and cannot get home yet we can waste seats and hotel rooms on actors etc.’
Another person said: ‘We’ll not get in to why it was deemed necessary for her to enter the country, when an Australian citizen could have had her quarantine space.’
Members of the closed group ‘Australians in quarantine facilities’ vent their outrage
Questioned: Many travellers in quarantine questioned why Hopkins was allowed to fly into the country while Australians are stranded overseas
However, a Home Affairs spokeswoman told news.com.au that Ms Hopkins did not take the place of Australians desperate to return to their home country.
‘These travel exemptions were approved based on support by the NSW Government as they met the critical skills category for inwards travel,’ she said.
‘These travellers did not take the place of returning Australians as their travel was above the hotel quarantine caps.’
Hopkins’ entry to Australia had even drawn the attention and criticism of MP’s.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on ABC’s Insiders: ‘I’m the one who wanted to send home Johnny Depp’s dogs home so I have no problem sending home someone who wants to flout our laws.
‘If you want to do that, pack your bongo and get out of the country.’
Acting Shadow Minister for Home Affairs Andrew Giles openly criticised the Prime Minister’s decision to provide her with a visa into the country.
‘Now that Ms Hopkins is in Australia, she has begun broadcasting from what described as ‘VIP Quarantine’, and has explained how she is opening up her hotel door naked and without a face mask in a deliberate attempt to breach hotel quarantine rules.’ Mr Giles said.
‘This is grossly disrespectful to frontline workers who are only trying to keep us safe.’
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said on ABC’s Insiders: ‘I’m the one who wanted to send home Johnny Depp’s dogs home so I have no problem sending home someone who wants to flout our laws’
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews also earlier said on Sunday that she had personally asked Australian Border Force to investigate whether or not Hopkins had breached any hotel quarantine rules.
‘It is despicable that anyone would behave in such a way that puts our health officials and community at risk,’ Ms Andrews said.
‘I have directed Australian Border Force to immediately consider the facts of this matter and urgently review whether this individual is complying with the requirements of her visa.’
Hopkins often takes to Instagram to publish a myriad of posts mocking lockdowns and mask mandates.
In a video uploaded to the social media platform on Friday, filmed from her hotel quarantine, Ms Hopkins described lockdowns as ‘the greatest hoax in history’.
‘You are living through the greatest hoax in human history, they are trying to take everything from you, and one of the very best and most powerful weapons we have is a sense of humour, and someone like me is probably a massive thorn in their sides,’ she said.
While Hopkins is yet to speak out about being axed from Celebrity Big Brother Australia, she shared a bizarre video on Instagram mocking the COVID-19 crisis.
‘This is important – we’ve just heard that there’s been a new variant, Delta plus, and you have to be very, very afraid of it,’ she said, adding that ‘VIPs’ didn’t need to worry but ‘if you’re a pleb like me, you must be very afraid’.
She then lifted up a sanitary towel in the air, she offensively added: ‘all politicians are about as useful as a tampon on a tranny.’
Controversial: In a video uploaded to the social media platform on Friday, filmed from her hotel quarantine, Ms Hopkins described the lockdown as ‘the greatest hoax in history’