Today hosts clash with quarantined mum

Today hosts Karl Stefanovic and Ally Langdon had a testy interview this morning with an Australian mum stuck in hotel isolation, who accused the show of painting her as a "whinger".

Sarah Greig and her two sons are currently in quarantine at the Novotel in Brisbane, having returned from Jakarta on Sunday. The family is in the same situation as many travellers now stuck in hotels around the country, unable to go outside for exercise or fresh air until they pass strict coronavirus quarantine measures.

Some travellers have been met with fierce community backlash after complaining about their treatment and accommodation.

Karl and Ally talk to Sarah Greig.
Karl and Ally talk to Sarah Greig.

 

"I can sympathise, having two boys with lots of energy and no room to move, but you say you're being treated like prisoners?" Langdon asked Ms Greig to open the interview.

Ms Greig said: "The best thing for the Australian public to understand is that nobody is complaining about the conditions of the hotel. We are in really nice accommodation."

She said the hotel staff had been friendly, the food was "fantastic" but that a few days in, she and her boys were becoming increasingly desperate for fresh air.

"We just want a solution to be able to get access to sunlight and fresh air. I don't think that's being unreasonable in any way, shape or form. I certainly don't think that that makes us whingers," she said, suggesting they would be happy to wear any protective clothing required and maintain social distancing while outside.

"This is all these people want and it's already starting to cause big problems. I've heard people banging on doors … this is the solution that I'm begging for not only for my own children but the baby that's next door to me," she said. "Just because we came from overseas, that makes us different to the people outside? I don't think that's entirely the case."

"I mean, I disagree with you there, Sarah, because the majority of cases we have in Australia are from people overseas bringing it in and we've got to think about the wider good here. Unfortunately, we're in the middle of a global pandemic. This the price you and the boys unfortunately have to pay which is two weeks in self-isolation but in the grand scheme of things, if this means keeping everyone healthy, is it not a price worth paying?" asked Langdon, which drew a testy response from their guest.

"Look, I was asked to come on air today to speak to you about finding solutions to get us some fresh air. That was what I was coming on air to speak to you about today, not to whinge about any of the things you just said to me," Ms Greig said.

"I don't think anyone is accusing you of whingeing, Sarah. I guess it is just looking at that wider picture. We all sympathise with the situation you're in now. What are you doing to keep the boys entertained in a room that size?" asked Langdon.

Ms Greig said her two boys had been passing the time by jumping from bed to bed and once more pleaded with the authorities to allow she and other quarantined guests access to fresh air, before the hosts wrapped up the interview by encouraging her to "go well - as well as you can".

Since the weekend, thousands of Australians returning to airports around the country are being transported by police and military to hotels that will be their homes for the next two weeks during a forced quarantine to contain the spread of coronavirus.

About 20,000 returning travellers are expected to arrive in the next week alone.

Originally published as Today hosts clash with quarantined mum



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