Enforced 14-day hotel quarantine, that’s the new normal for all Australian travellers returning from overseas right now in a bid to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The crackdown comes after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed that two-thirds of Australia’s known coronavirus cases could be attributed to people returning from overseas.
The travellers are being “housed, fed and transported at no cost to them” at hotels (including some five-star accommodation) across entry points into Australia.
It might sound like a free holiday until reality hits that for two weeks these travellers won’t be allowed outside or to have any visitors and if they break the rules they will face fines or even up to six months in prison.
Police officers and the Australian Defence Force are overseeing the operation, escorting overseas arrivals to the hotels and ensuring that the strict rules are followed.
Now stories are emerging from those in under enforced hotel quarantine, saying the experience is akin to “prison”.
For example, some of these detained in hotel rooms spoke to ABC’s 7.30, revealing “they can hear other quarantined travellers yelling for help and threatening to self-harm”.
They also said that in some cases, these travellers are being denied access to fresh air or any exercise or providing people with the medications they require.
Not everyone is having a bad time in quarantine though, Alan Giles told the ABC that he and his wife’s room at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel was their “gilded prison”.
“It’d be a great place to stay if you’re on holidays,” he said.
Do you know anyone experiencing lockdown in a hotel right now after returning from overseas or are you in lockdown? Please share your experiences at [email protected].
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