I flew into Brisbane from Melbourne just after the new rules on hotel quarantine kicked in. On arrival, passengers were ushered to a cordoned off section of the terminal (right next to the gate). We were surrounded by both police officers and army personnel. We were asked to produce our entry passes. If the form had changed since we had received the approval we were told to re-do it. Then we had to see a bureaucrat – this day they were all members of Queensland Police – some were in uniform though the one I saw wasn’t. The officer asked me why I had gone to Melbourne. I gave them the reason, though I did wonder why it mattered or why they needed to know the purpose of my trip. I did ask if I could quarantine at home, I curt reply was “No” and that was the extent of my interaction with this person. The officer then filled in a form which informed me that under the Public Health Act 2005 that I would be quarantined in a hotel and the name of the hotel was added to the form. The photo of the information sheet I was given is included here. Then I had wait around until the rest of the passengers were processed.
It did seem to me that rules were being made on the fly. Some passengers on the flight had just left the 14 day quarantine in Melbourne having arrived from overseas. Their passes had indicated that they could quarantine at home. However, when they arrived in Brisbane, they were told that they would have to quarantine at a hotel again because they had left quarantine in Melbourne. How else, can one get on a plane without leaving quarantine? Common sense seemed to prevail after a call to the Chief Medical Officer. These passengers were told that if they had the relevant quarantine paperwork and had tested negative on the COVID test, then they could leave to quarantine at home. I had never seen so many relieved people in any setting.
The rest of us were then marched off to collect our luggage. This side was operation was managed by the army. There was two army personnel and a police officer in front and few more in the back. There were a few more police officers along the route watching our movements. Our luggage was at one end of the terminal. Once we collected our bags and put it in the luggage hold of bus we were ready to set off to the designated hotel. There was a police officer on the bus as well.
The ride to the hotel was not long and were met by an officer who said that he was in charge of operations at the hotel. He told us that we could take a fresh air break, but we would be accompanied by police personnel at all times. I haven’t gone out yet, but after reading Cardinal Pell’s account I wonder if they will let us stay out for an hour.
Once off the bus, we were met by someone from the hotel who had us fill yet another form and this time it was about our meal preferences. Meals are delivered at 3 times – 8am, 1pm and 7pm. The government also “gives” us a $15 per room laundry allowance.
Since we arrived later in the day, we were handed a bag containing noodles, a packet of chips, a bottle of water and some biscuits. Then it was time to head to our rooms.
That’s it for now. Feel free to post your questions and I will respond through Sinclair. Thanks for reading.
* Not my regular Cat name