Police at the Swissotel in Market St, Sydney. Picture: Steve Tyson
Police at the Swissotel in Market St, Sydney. Picture: Steve Tyson

Quarantined Aussies slam hotel conditions

Stop complaining - that's the message the state's COVID-19 commissioner is sending returned travellers who are quarantined inside luxury hotels.

The blunt instruction comes after a number of people in isolation in Sydney's Swissotel complained about their treatment, their access to food and the lack of information from authorities.

Police commissioner Mick Fuller, who has been put in charge of the state's coronavirus response, said they should have some perspective.

Police at the Swissotel in Market St, Sydney. Picture: Steve Tyson
Police at the Swissotel in Market St, Sydney. Picture: Steve Tyson

"I know they will be people who are unhappy with the bed, the pillow, the heater, dinner and all those type of things," he said.

"The reality is they are in a hotel room, and yes, they will be isolated for 14 days. That is for their own protection, the protection of their family members and the protection of the NSW community."

 

But returned travellers forced into the 14-day isolation in Sydney hotels say they have been deprived of adequate food and medicine and heard people "yelling and banging" on walls.

Aussies under quarantine at the Swissotel Sydney say it has been turned into a makeshift prison with the latest guests not allowed to leave their rooms.

Kev and Libby Moorse from Tasmania have been quarantined at Swissotel Sydney since Thursday morning. Picture: Supplied
Kev and Libby Moorse from Tasmania have been quarantined at Swissotel Sydney since Thursday morning. Picture: Supplied

Kev Moorse and his wife Libby were some of the first in the country to be forced into isolation on Thursday morning after the government announced strict new measures to prevent COVID-19 being imported into Australia.

Hundreds of arriving passengers were met by defence soldiers and police at departure gates, where they were marched onto a charter bus and into hotel rooms.

But Mr Moorse says he and his wife arrived to find those already in isolation being deprived of essential food and medicine, with one elderly woman complaining of missing food deliveries and a diabetic man saying he could not get any insulin.

"There have been people yelling and banging on the walls," he said.

The couple say others in the hotel have complained of a lack of food and medicine. Picture: Supplied
The couple say others in the hotel have complained of a lack of food and medicine. Picture: Supplied

Mr Moorse said he and his wife were stuffed into their hotel room without being told anything.

"There were a couple of hundred people who arrived at the hotel on Friday but it really seems like we were the test guinea pigs before it was announced publicly by the Prime Minister," he told The Daily Telegraph.

"Really we have not been told anything. We are just stuck in the room, there is a double bed, a desk and a window."

 

There was a heavy police and army presence for the first lot of international arrivals landing at Sydney Airport on Sunday.
There was a heavy police and army presence for the first lot of international arrivals landing at Sydney Airport on Sunday.

Police and security guards regularly patrol the hallways to make sure no one is out of their rooms.

Travellers were led onto a bus at the international terminal Sydney Airport, to be taken to a hotel for quarantine. Picture: Damian Shaw
Travellers were led onto a bus at the international terminal Sydney Airport, to be taken to a hotel for quarantine. Picture: Damian Shaw

A NSW Police spokesman said this was a routine procedure for all the hotels being used to quarantine travellers.

Commissioner Fuller said hotel staff will be transporting food to quarantined travellers, and will only clean potentially infected rooms while wearing protective gear.

"I understand that maybe the sheets do not get changed daily but you are coming back into … 5-star hotels. They are not going that badly. There are people after the bushfires still living in tents and caravans. People are going okay," he said.

Originally published as Quarantined Aussies slam hotel conditions



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