Evangeline Lilly has offered a 'sincere and heartfelt apology' for the 'insensitive' Instagram post she shared last week.

In the post, she said was going to carry out "business as usual" in the wake of what she called the "respiratory flu".

Sharing a picture of tea, she wrote: "Just dropped my kids off at gymnastics camp. They all washed their hands before going in... Some people value their lives over freedom, some people value freedom over their lives."

The actress came under fire for the post, particularly from 'Game of Thrones' star Sophie Turner.

Turner said in a video posted to social media: "Stay inside. Don’t be f---ing stupid. Even if you count your – " [does air quotes] 'freedom over ... your health.' I don’t give a f--- about your freedom.

"You could be infecting other people, other vulnerable people around you by doing this.… And that’s the tea."

Lilly, who is best-known her her roles on 'Lost' and the two 'Ant-Man' movies shared the following yesterday.

Her post reads in full: "Hello everyone. I am writing you from my home where I have been social distancing since Mar 18th – when social distancing was instituted in the small community where I am currently living.

"At the time of my Mar 16th post, the directives from the authorities here were that we not congregate in groups of more than 250ppl and that we wash our hands regularly, which we were doing.

"Two days later, those directives changed and, despite my intense trepidation over the socioeconomic and political repercussions of this course of action, PLEASE KNOW I AM DOING MY PART TO FLATTEN THE CURVE, PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING AND STAYING HOME WITH MY FAMILY.

"I want to offer my sincere and heartfelt apology for the insensitivity I showed in my previous post to the very real suffering and fear that has gripped the world through COVID19. Grandparents, parents, children, sisters and brothers are dying, the world is rallying to find a way to stop this very real threat, and my ensuing silence has sent a dismissive, arrogant and cryptic message.

"My direct and special apologies to those most affected by this pandemic. I never meant to hurt you. When I wrote that post 10 days ago, I thought I was infusing calm into the hysteria. I can see now that I was projecting my own fears into an already fearful and traumatic situation.

"I am grieved by the ongoing loss of life, and the impossible decisions medical workers around the world must make as they treat those affected, I am concerned for our communities – small businesses and families living paycheck-to-paycheck – and I am trying to follow responsible recommendations for how to help. Like many of you, I fear for the political aftermath of this pandemic, and I am praying for us all.

"At the same time, I am heartened by the beauty and humanity I see so many people demonstrating toward one another in this vulnerable time. When I was grappling with my own fears over social distancing, one kind, wise and gracious person said to me “do it out of love, not fear” and it helped me to realize my place in all of this.

"Sending love to all of you, even if you can’t return it right now. EL"