Hanks brought coronavirus into Australia

Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson contracted coronavirus in America before coming to Australia, health officials believe.

The Hollywood power couple is in isolation in a Gold Coast hospital after confirming they had the virus yesterday.

Hanks and Wilson will now spend a fortnight in isolation at the Gold Coast University Hospital.

Queensland Health believes the pair contracted the virus overseas before coming to Australia.

"We Hanks' will be tested, observed, and isolated for as long as public health and safety requires," Hanks said on Instagram.

Hanks, 63, has been in Australia for several weeks filming Baz Luhrmann's Elvis Presley biopic.

He arrived on the Gold Coast on January 26 and has been spotted at several holiday hot spots across Queensland and New South Wales.

On January 29, he took a selfie with a fan on a Gold Coast beach. On January 31, he then waved to photographers as he strolled along the beach at Broadbeach.

On February 2, he dined at Mavis' Kitchen & Cabins at Mount Warning. The next day he popped into Bon Bon bar at Mermaid Beach in February, where he took a fun photo with two young diners.

Actor Tom Hanks at Bonita Bonita & Bon Bon Bar, Mermaid Beach. Photo: Instagram/@micahwarz
Actor Tom Hanks at Bonita Bonita & Bon Bon Bar, Mermaid Beach. Photo: Instagram/@micahwarz

On February 6, Hanks flew back to the United States for the Oscars, where he was nominated for best supporting actor for his role in A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.



He was then pictured back on the Gold Coast on February 29, taking a photo with two more fans.


On March 5, Wilson performed a concert in Brisbane at the Emporium Hotel in South Bank.

The luxury hotel is now taking "active steps" to brief its staff, general manager Charles Martin said.

"Extra hygiene precautions were already in place since the first international outbreak of coronavirus in January," he told The Courier Mail.


Wilson and Hanks were then spotted enjoying a beer at the Bondi RSL in Sydney on March 6 before Wilson performed at the Sydney Opera House on March 7.

"Performing at this iconic place is unlike any other. And the warmth of the audience made me feel so welcome. Thank you from the bottom of my heart," she wrote on Instagram, alongside a photo of herself next to the building's famous steps.



More than 200 people attended the show and organisers said they were getting in touch with anyone who had close contact with the couple.

On March 9, Hanks and Wilson enjoyed a boat tour around Sydney Harbour, taking photos at Bondi Beach and again outside the Opera House.


View this post on Instagram

Can’t get enough of Sydney!

A post shared by Rita Wilson (@ritawilson) on


Wilson also paid a visit to Channel 9's studios in Sydney, where she performed and was interviewed by presenters David Campbell and Belinda Russell on the Today Extra show.

Campbell, Russell and all other staff members who had "prolonged" contact with the star have now been asked to self-isolate.

"Nine today has taken action in line with our crisis response plan around a visit to our studio by Ms Rita Wilson on Monday this week, for an appearance on Today Extra with David Campbell and Belinda Russell," the network said in a statement on Thursday.

"Our actions are in line with the guidelines set out by the government and health authorities.

"Those who were in prolonged contact with Ms Wilson have been tested and are self-isolating for 14 days."



Campbell told 2GB he did not shake hands with Wilson when she visited, and she had shown no obvious symptoms at the time.

"She came into the Today Extra studios on Monday and she was delightful and really nice and she didn't have any symptoms of anything," he said.

"She was cautious. She actually made a joke coming into the studios, saying we shouldn't shake hands, we should bump elbows. So we bumped elbows."

Tracy Grimshaw, who is recovering from surgery, had no contact with Wilson but did not host A Current Affair on Thursday night "as a precaution", Nine said.

Wilson had her hair and makeup done in the same room Grimshaw uses as a dressing room, The Australian reports.

A total 126 cases of coronavirus have now been confirmed across Australia, with 64 in New South Wales, 18 in Victoria, 17 in Queensland, 8 in South Australia, 7 in Western Australia and 2 in Tasmania.

The majority of cases are reported to have had a "direct or indirect travel link" to countries including the US, UK, China, Iran and Italy, according to the Department of Health.


A Sydney beautician says she's been given the "all clear" by NSW Health after taking a selfie with actor Tom Hanks just days before he tested positive for the coronavirus.

"We can all breathe. I can't deal," Val Flores wrote on Facebook.

Flores ran into Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson at Mr Wong, a popular Cantonese restaurant in Sydney's CBD, on March 8.

"Selfie done by Tom Hanks himself. Wow … Hollywood royalty in Sydney. Only people to have pics with Tom Hanks and his gorgeous wife Rita Wilson," she wrote online, alongside two pictures of herself with the stars.


Val Flores ran into the Hollywood stars in Sydney. Picture: Facebook
Val Flores ran into the Hollywood stars in Sydney. Picture: Facebook

But just four days later, Hanks announced on Instagram that he and Rita had tested positive for COVID-19 after feeling unwell.

"We felt a bit tired, like we had colds, and some body aches. Rita had some chills that came and went. Slight fevers too," he said on Instagram.

"To play things right, as is needed in the world right now, we were tested for the coronavirus, and were found to be positive."

READ MORE: Follow the latest coronavirus updates

Health authorities advise anyone who has been in close contact with an infected person to self isolate for 14 days. But close contact is defined as at least 15 minutes of face-to-face interaction or at least two hours in the same closed space, meaning Flores was given the all clear.

"All clear from NSW Health. Minor casual contact under 15 minutes, no body contact was made, and no symptoms," she wrote on Facebook.

A spokesman for Merivale, which owns Mr Wong, said all staff that were "within one metre of Mr Hanks and his part" are in "self-isolation" and would not be back at work until it was deemed "appropriate".

Tom Hanks with Flores (R) in Sydney. Picture: Facebook.
Tom Hanks with Flores (R) in Sydney. Picture: Facebook.

Meanwhile, celebrities including Tim Allen, Ellen DeGeneres, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Mia Farrow, rushed to wish the stars a speedy recovery.

"Woody, I should have made you two wear my space suits! You and Rita rest and get well!" said Allen, who played Buzz Lightyear alongside Hanks in Disney's Toy Story.



"Wishing you both a speedy recovery, and sending lots of love," DeGeneres said.

American comedian Whitney Cummings joked: "I mean Tom Hanks is who would play the guy in the movie about coronavirus."

"It's like it picked the celebrity we cared the most about to make a point," she added.

Actor Jameela Jamil meanwhile praised Hanks for his "calm" announcement on social media.

"A calm and sensibly informative note from the man I wish was president. Hope they feel better soon, and glad they are in good, sanitised hands #Hanks2024," she tweeted.

Hanks' son Colin also moved to assure fans on Twitter that his parents were in good hands.

"My parents are receiving excellent care in Australia and are doing well (and in good spirits) given the circumstances," he said.

"Despite the fact that I'm in LA and haven't seen them in over three weeks, we have been in constant contact and am confident that they will make a full recovery."


Tom Hanks and Rits Wilson with Elodie Dalgleish, a skipper and guide for Sydney Harbour Boat Tours on March 9. Picture: Instagram
Tom Hanks and Rits Wilson with Elodie Dalgleish, a skipper and guide for Sydney Harbour Boat Tours on March 9. Picture: Instagram


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