What does it take to ride out the coronavirus in relatively paradisiacal Australia? Well, it helps to not be Australian, at least if you’re abroad—you’ll have trouble getting back. And being well known can’t hurt, since you’ll probably be able to afford the super-expensive airline tickets created by the government’s “travel cap.” As the BBC reported, dozens of Hollywood refugees have headed halfway around the world for the duration—drawn mostly for film work but quite happy to settle into temporary homes. And why not, given how successfully Australia has handled the pandemic, and, consequently, how inviting its beaches, clubs, and restaurants are?
The list of transplants includes Julia Roberts, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon, Zac Efron, Natalie Portman, Ron Howard, Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson, Idris Elba, Chris Pratt, Michelle Ye, Paul Mescal, Rita Ora, Tilda Swinton, Tom Hanks, Awkwafina, Ed Sheeran, Jane Seymour, Melissa McCarthy, and Lord Alan Sugar, according to a tally by the BBC. There’s also the Australian stars who’ve come home: Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban; Kylie and Dannii Minogue; Rose Byrne; Isla Fisher and her British husband, Sacha Baron Cohen. But not everyone is pleased. One year on since Australia shut its borders, there are still at least 40,000 Australians stranded overseas. Well, they should have planned ahead—for fame, that is.