There have been mixed reports on what life is like inside mandatory hotel quarantine for returning international travellers. Today, we’re bringing you a firsthand experience from travel bloggers Darren and May Sutton, the duo behind Destination Hunters.
The pair recently arrived on an international flight to Brisbane before being quarantined at the Rydges Hotel in Brisbane.
This is their experience so far, in their words.
What happened at the Airport?
When you first arrive to board your plane you will be asked if you understand that you will be subjected to a 14 day compulsory quarantine under lock and key once you arrive in Australia. Nothing was said the entire flight until we had landed where it was announced that we would be staying at the Rydges Hotel Brisbane.
Upon disembarking the plane was where all the fun really began. As we walked out there were police ready to escort you through customs to the bus that will take you to your hotel for the next 14 days.
If you feel like doing a runner at this point, think again, as they not only have the police guarding the airport entrance but the full Australian army escorting you out.
What quarantine hotel can I expect in Brisbane?
Previous travellers arriving at the Brisbane International Airport have been quarantined at the Novotel Brisbane Airport & the Ibis Budget Brisbane Airport.
We were a little worried about being quarantined in these hotels as passengers quarantined on March 30 reported feeling trapped with no access to fresh air. A passenger we have been in touch with told us that she was not even allowed to open the window, had no air conditioning and was served frozen foods.
Luckily, that was not our experience.
Perhaps the government has listened to the complaints of recent incoming passengers and changed some of the accommodation plans as if you have to spend time in jail, the Rydges Hotel Brisbane isn’t the worst place you could be.
We almost did somersaults when we saw the large balcony we had been given overlooking the Brisbane River. We had prayed for a window (ideally one that opened) after hearing previous passengers’ reports and were overjoyed at having an actual balcony!
The room itself was nice too. We were pretty happy to have a two-seater lounge chair, a desk and a separate little lounge.
It seems the government has listened to the complaints and made arrangements that aren’t completely oppressive.
What food can I expect?
Different passengers reported different food options. The food at the Rydges Hotel Brisbane is not made in house but outsourced to an outside catering company.
There are three meals delivered each day. To give you an idea: Breakfast was banana, OJ, muesli bar, cereal, milk and lunch was a wrap with ham and cheese, salad. The food so far has been good and to a reasonable standard.
What toiletries can I expect?
We brought with us our own toiletries so we weren’t unhappy with this but you would be a little stuffed if you didn’t bring your own stuff. All that was in the room was the standard toiletries you would get when staying at a hotel.
Ultimately I’d rather be at home quarantining with my yard to walk in, but if I have to do it, thank goodness for the lounge and the balcony!
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