Tag: quarantine

How PM could quarantine at the Lodge

Scott Morrison has been called out for declaring there’s “no alternative” to hotel quarantine and then promptly dodging it himself so how did he get away with it?

The simple answer is he did it by being a “government official” and holding a diplomatic passport that allows him to quarantine at the Lodge in Canberra if he is returning from official travel.

As he explained to Kiss FM this week, he’s even managed to quarantine and keep his official photographer and personal chef on staff to whip up a meal

“All the rules are being followed,’’ Mr Morrison said.

“We’ve basically picked up the whole operation from Parliament House and moved it here to the house. I’ve got two staff with me so we’re pretty busy.”

Asked if he was eating “pre-made meals”, the Prime Minister admitted there was someone on hand to cook him dinner.

“There’s a staff that supports here. They’re in the non-quarantine section. So the house is all sorts of cut off. You put your laundry in a bag that dissolves in the wash.”

One of the staff that is quarantining at the Lodge is his official photographer, Adam Taylor, who captured the image of him wearing thongs and shorts with a shirt and jacket for TV interviews.

That image has sparked complaints from media photographers that the Prime Minister’s office is handing out “propaganda shots” to shape his image.

But Sky News host Alan Jones has pointed to a double standard in international travel, with the Prime Minister seemingly going against his own comments on quarantine.

Mr Jones pointed out that after the last National Cabinet meeting, Mr Morrison said there was “no alternative” to hotel quarantine.

“He seems to have found one,” he said as he questioned NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about quarantine arrangements on Sky News last night.

Ms Berejiklian said she didn’t want to comment on the Prime Minister’s specific case, but argued that it would be too risky to change the system at this stage.

But in fact, the rules are different for government officials and the Prime Minister is within his rights to quarantine “at home” at the Lodge with a staff of cooks and cleaners on hand to make the experience a little more luxurious.

The exemption is clearly outlined on the health.gov.au website under the section detailing ‘recommended quarantine exemptions for some other travellers.”

“Official government travel Government officials, and/or their dependants, who are returning from official government travel need to quarantine for 14 days on return to Australia,’’ it states.

“They may quarantine at their home, usual place of residence, or private accommodation.

“Government officials must travel on an Australian Government issued Official or Diplomat passport when completing Official Travel.

“Strict conditions apply on this exemption class. Government officials are not allowed to take a domestic connecting flight within 14 days of arrival in Australia. Government officials must comply with all state or territory public health requirements.”

Mr Jones argued that skilled workers and international students should

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Victoria’s new hotel quarantine program may employ ‘fly-in-fly-out’ staff who live on site

Hotel quarantine staff in Victoria will be subject to contact tracing before beginning work and in some cases will live on site, the state’s premier Daniel Andrews has said.

Daniel Andrews wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: James Ross/AAP

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: James Ross/AAP

As Victoria celebrated its 26th consecutive day with no new Covid-19 infections on Wednesday, Andrews announced a suite of new measures aimed at preventing a third outbreak of the virus when it resumes overseas hotel quarantine next month.

Andrews also said the state would employ an “exclusive workforce” to operate the hotel quarantine program, promising that workers “won’t have any second jobs”.

“We may well have groups, not necessarily every staff member, but some staff members who actually live in the hotel,” Andrews told the ABC.

Related: Victoria budget: treasurer announces $23.3bn deficit and record spending amid coronavirus recession

“A bit of a fly-in-fly-out arrangement. We’ll advance contact trace all of those people and know who they live with and what the people that they live with do for a living.

“So someone working wouldn’t share a house with someone in an aged care facility, for example. All of that work is going on to make sure that when the program is reset, it is safe and I’m confident that that is what people will be able to do.”

The commitments come as the state prepares to resume its mandatory two-week hotel quarantine for overseas arrivals on 7 December. The program, which is expected to accomodate about 160 returning travellers a day when it resumes, was suspended during the state’s devastating second-wave outbreak which stemmed in part from failures in the “hastily assembled” system.

The Victorian government is still waiting to receive the final report from an inquiry into the scheme which found widespread problems with its operation. An interim report released earlier this month recommended police should be on site 24 hours a day at quarantine sites, and that infection control experts should be “embedded” in each facility.

Video: Andrews announces $5 million sick pay scheme trial (Sky News Australia)

Andrews announces $5 million sick pay scheme trial



On Wednesday, the inquiry announced it will hold a final hearing on Friday 27 November in order to tender final evidence and submissions.

Andrews has declined to comment in detail on the interim report, but in a separate interview on Tuesday said it was his “responsibility” to “make sure that we don’t make those mistakes ever again”.

The Victorian government has also sought to combat what Andrews has called the “toxic” nature of insecure work by announcing a pilot program in this week’s state budget to provide some casual and insecure workers in priority industries sick leave and carers leave.

Daniel Andrews wearing a suit and tie: Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said the state will employ an ‘exclusive workforce’ to operate the hotel quarantine program when it resumes on 7 December.

© Photograph: James Ross/AAP
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews said the state will employ an ‘exclusive workforce’ to operate the hotel quarantine program when it resumes on 7 December.

“Insecure work isn’t just bad for those who work under those conditions, it’s bad for all of us and we pay

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‘Test to release’ scheme will cut England travel quarantine to five days

The two-week quarantine period for international arrivals to England is to be cut to as little as five days next month, with travellers allowed to leave self-isolation after a negative Covid-19 test.

a group of people on a sidewalk: Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The government said the new “test to release” regime would be in place from 15 December.

Airlines said it was “light at the end of the tunnel” for the struggling travel industry, but said most travel would only return when a pre-departure testing regime was in place.

Passengers who choose to use the scheme must book a test before travel – and pay for it privately – from a list of government-approved suppliers, which has yet to be published. The cost is likely to be between £65 and £120.

Anyone arriving in England by plane, ferry or train will still need to complete a passenger locator form and self-isolate for five full days before taking a test.

The transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said the plan would “ensure that our route out of this pandemic is careful and balanced, allowing us to focus on what we can now do to bolster international travel while keeping the public safe.

“Our new testing strategy will allow us to travel more freely, see loved ones and drive international business. By giving people the choice to test on day five, we are also supporting the travel industry as it continues to rebuild out of the pandemic.”

A travel taskforce, chaired by Shapps, reported to the prime minister earlier this month. Shapps’ view is that a test after five days of self-isolation would give more accurate results and reduce the risk of false negatives, compared with a test on arrival favoured by airlines and airports. The government has pointed to the examples of Germany and Iceland, which amended test-on-arrival regimes in favour of a similar delayed test.

Both British Airways and Virgin described the move as a significant step in the right direction, but said a pre-departure testing regime was needed.

Related: Selling off the china: BA puts bespoke items from first class on sale

Airlines UK said the move should cause a tentative rise in demand. Tim Alderslade, the industry association’s chief executive, said: “That said, a test at day five does not get rid of quarantine and that’s why we look forward to working with government to move towards a pre-departure or domestic testing regime. But there is now light at the end of the tunnel.”

The travel association Abta said it would make travel more attractive and manageable but there was “still more work to be done to support the recovery of the sector, including having a testing scheme in place for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

a person standing on a sidewalk: Passengers arrive at Heathrow airport in September. Anyone entering the UK will still have to self-isolate for five full days before taking a test.

© Photograph: Yui Mok/PA
Passengers arrive at Heathrow airport in September. Anyone entering the UK will still have to self-isolate for five full days before taking a test.

The International Air Transport Association (Iata) said momentum was building worldwide for testing to replace quarantine. Its chief

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Hotel quarantine staff could ‘live in a bubble’ under new scheme

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A rebooted hotel quarantine scheme in Victoria could include staff who stay on site to reduce the risk of infection in the community, Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged.

Questions remain about how the new version of the program will be managed when international flights return to the state in just two weeks’ time.

South Australia’s coronavirus outbreak, also linked to hotel quarantine, has triggered calls over whether states should isolate travellers in the regions or other low-density areas to reduce the risk of larger super-spreading events.

Mr Andrews said it was possible some employees could be asked to “live in a bubble” while working in risk points for infection.

“I think living on site is not just a function of being out in the suburbs or in regional Victoria,” he said.

“You might find that’s a feature of the reset system.

“Not necessarily every member of staff, but some. Particularly those that are in the highest risk group if you like, those who have got the most frequent contact.”

Mr Andrews said the program would start at 160 people a day and grow over time.

“We are very confident that we can have an exclusive workforce,” he said.

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From quarantine facility to holiday destination: Will hotel reputations suffer from Covid-19 association?

New Zealand hotels used as managed isolation and quarantine facilities may run the risk of their brand being associated with Covid-19, says a marketing expert.

All people entering the country are required to spend 14 days in managed isolation or quarantine at a designated facility across the country.

The Government has contracted hotels to provide the service, with 32 of these facilities currently set up in New Zealand: 18 in Auckland, three in Hamilton, three in Rotorua, two in Wellington and six in Christchurch.

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

Supplied/ M Social

Auckland hotel M Social, one of the 32 Covid-19 managed isolation hotels for arrivals into the country.

“Two ways hotels have tried to increase revenue is by targeting domestic tourists and serving as quarantine hotels,” said crisis management expert Daniel Laufer, associate professor of marketing at Victoria University of Wellington.

* Covid-19: Air New Zealand crew isolating after testing positive in China
* Managed isolation, quarantine costing $2.4m a day, figures show
* Coronavirus: Time to look at our Covid-19 quarantine hotel contingency plan

“Serving as a quarantine hotel is beneficial for a hotel in the short run, however there is also a risk to the brand after Covid-19.”

Tourists might be wary of staying at a hotel that served as a quarantine facility, Laufer said.

“This may be particularly problematic for hotels housing people with Covid-19, such as the Jet Park Hotel,” Laufer said.

Jet Park Hotel in Auckland and Hamilton were being used solely by the Ministry of Health and were closed until December 31, 2021. However, Jet Park Hotel Rotorua remained open, and was not hosting returning travellers.

Jet Park was contacted for comment, but directed Stuff to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.

At one end of the spectrum, some hotels might not end up hosting anyone with coronavirus, so there would be minimal publicity and not a lot of risk to the brand, he said.

The risk was higher for hotels where the association was specific and repeated.

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Auckland’s Jet Park Hotel, which is being used as a quarantine hotel, and will be closed to the public until December 2021.

“Whenever a new case of Covid-19 arises, health officials such as Dr Ashley Bloomfield highlight during press conferences the transfer of new Covid-19 cases to the Jet Park Hotel.

“The Government is 100 per cent right in disclosing to the public, but at the same time when there’s a constantly repeated brand, that has an impact.”

A more famous brand that suffered the fallout of being associated in people’s minds with coronavirus was Corona beer.

However, Corona, which derived its name from the Sun’s corona, had held up and was recently named the world’s most valuable beer brand by Brand Finance. It was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks bought in New Zealand during the level 4 lockdown.

Usually such association was beyond the control of brands, but if the publicity was negative enough a company might consider changing its name.

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Best mate runs 152km around his hotel quarantine room to help friend

Christian Howes et al. sitting posing for the camera: MailOnline logo

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A best mate has pledged to run 152km in his hotel quarantine room to help save the life of his friend battling cancer. 

Brendan Phelan, 34, and Nick Heather, 33, have been best friends for 14 years since meeting in Dublin, Ireland, and moving to Australia together in 2011 and were also brothers-in-law.    

Mr Heather was diagnosed with leukemia on July 31 and underwent chemotherapy to prepare for a stem cell transplant on December 11. 

In order to raise money for the treatment, Mr Phelan will complete the run over 14 days at his quarantine hotel in Perth, 7NEWS reported.

Mr Phelan established the marathon fundraiser on GoFundMe to track his progress and share Mr Heather’s story. 

‘Our friend Nick was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a relatively rare and aggressive form of blood cancer, on July 31st,’ the page explained. 

‘Since then he has undergone four rounds of chemotherapy and is gearing up for a stem cell transplant in early December.’      

Mr Phelan is married to Mr Heather’s sister, Sarah Jane, and the pair live together in Saudi Arabia.    

Sarah Jane was found to be a full match for her brother’s bone marrow transplant and the couple traveled to Australia to support Mr Heather and his wife Cat. 

‘Nothing has put life more in perspective then the perseverance and strength Nick has shown over the last four months,’ Mr Phelan explained. 

Mr Phelan said he came up with the fundraising idea because he wanted to show Cat and Mr Heather ‘how much support they had from friends and family’.   

‘When I finally got a flight I knew I wanted to do something over the quarantine period and I decided I would do a run with the hope that we could raise a small bit of money for Nick and the Leukemia Foundation.’ 

Mr Phelan is completing the 152 kilometre on a treadmill in his hotel room before travelling to meet Mr Heather in Melbourne.  

‘I’m just happy to be

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Hotel quarantine stopping Big Bash imports from training

Strikers star Rashid Khan won’t get out of hotel quarantine untinl days before the Big Bash opener (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Strikers star Rashid Khan won’t get out of hotel quarantine untinl days before the Big Bash opener (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Big Bash imports are being subjected to strict quarantine rules leaving them unable to train and some, like star spinner Rashid Khan, won’t exit until just days before their opening match as officials jump another COVID-19 hurdle.

Khan only arrived in Australia on Monday and will have to complete a full 14-day hotel quarantine before linking up with his Adelaide Strikers teammates three days before the first match in Hobart on December 11.

The release of the full BBL fixture on Monday included games in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in January with officials confident they have structured the season in a way which ensures they can “get in” to any states with ongoing border restrictions.

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Chartered planes will be used until the safety of players can be guaranteed on commercial flights and Big Bash boss Alistair Dobson conceded it was a large added expense but a neccesasary one to “deliver the matches we have scheduled”.

While the touring Indian players were given exemptions to train and prepare for the limited overs series against Australia which begins on Friday, individual players arriving for the Big Bash were not.

Clubs have signed internationals players from England, the West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and Afghanistan and Dobson said it remained a “24/7 project” to get them in for the start of the season on December 10.

There are currently 12 players and a coach already in Australian completing quarantine, but most only arrived last weekend and will be limited to four or five days preparation with their teammates.

England’s James Vince is one of a dozen players stuck in hotel quarantine before the Big Bash (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)
England’s James Vince is one of a dozen players stuck in hotel quarantine before the Big Bash (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

The West Indies are in New Zealand for T20 and Test series. The trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand should allow any Big Bash bound players to enter the country without serving quarantine.

“There are some players that have arrived ands are doing their 14 days. They are in the regular overseas quarantine in different states. ,” Dobson said.

“It will be a different preparation, it will be tough on a number of levels. But the importance of that process is crticial to the country.”

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Russell Gould is a senior Herald Sun sportswriter with nearly 20 years experience across a wide variety of sports from cricket to golf to rugby league to horse racing and AFL, writing both news and in depth fea… Read more

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SA Labor wants halt to hotel quarantine | The Canberra Times

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The South Australian opposition has reaffirmed calls for an end to the hotel quarantine system in Adelaide until a safer option can be found. The use of city hotels to keep returning Australians isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic has come in for criticism recently after a cluster of cases in Adelaide was linked back to one facility. A cleaner at the hotel picked up the virus and spread it to other members of her family. Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas says with the number of coronavirus cases surging overseas, the number of infections among returned travellers has also increased. “Continuing to accept international arrivals and putting them in CBD medi-hotels staffed by casual labour puts our state at greater risk of another outbreak,” Mr Malinauskas said. “This level of risk is simply unacceptable. “The only way to alleviate this risk is the immediate and indefinite end of the medi-hotel system in its current format until a safer solution is found.” But Premier Steven Marshall said other ideas, such as sending returned travellers to places like Christmas Island, was logistically impractical. As the so-called Parafield cluster emerged in Adelaide last week, the state government did put overseas flights on hold until at least December. On Sunday, SA had 37 active cases of COVID-19 but only 11 of those were returned travellers in hotel quarantine. Australian Associated Press


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South Australia’s opposition calls for end to hotel quarantine as state exits lockdown

South Australia’s opposition leader has called for a halt on putting returned travellers in hotel quarantine until a safer system can be put in place, as the state emerged from its temporary lockdown on Sunday.

a car parked on a city street: Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

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Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock

Labor opposition leader Peter Malinauskas wrote to premier Steven Marshall on Sunday and said the outbreak from hotel quarantine in Adelaide and the second wave experienced in Victoria as a result of its hotel quarantine issues showed that putting returned travellers in CBD hotels “with subcontracted private security simply does not work”.

a car parked on a city street: One of the quarantine hotels in Adelaide. The state’s Labor opposition wants hotel quarantine for returned travellers stopped until there’s a safer system in place.

© Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock
One of the quarantine hotels in Adelaide. The state’s Labor opposition wants hotel quarantine for returned travellers stopped until there’s a safer system in place.

“The only way to alleviate this risk is to immediately end the international arrival and medi-hotel system in its current format, until a safer solution is found,” he said.

Malinauskas suggested in a Facebook post that there could be purpose-built facilities outside the CBD staffed by a non-casual workforce.

Related: South Australia to end Covid lockdown early as premier ‘fuming’ over pizza lie

Marshall said on Sunday the suggestion would not work, and was a break in bipartisanship.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” he said. “We don’t have 1,200 rooms in Woomera or Christmas Island to pop up with a quarantine hotel let alone the staff, let alone building the hospital alongside it.”

The Parafield outbreak from the Peppers medi-hotel still stands at 26 cases. The state recorded just one new case overnight – a woman in her 20s in a medi-hotel who returned to South Australia from overseas before the state stopped accepting returned travellers.

The lockdown ended in South Australia at midnight on Sunday, three days earlier than planned, after a 36-year-old kitchen worker at the Stamford medi-hotel who initially said he had contracted the virus while picking up a pizza at an Adelaide pizza bar later admitted to working in the kitchen alongside an infected security guard from the Peppers hotel.

The man is on a temporary graduate visa which expires next month. A taskforce of 20 police detectives are investigating the false report.

Federal Labor’s shadow employment minister, Brendan O’Connor, told the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday that while people should not lie to contact tracers, the man might have been forced to lie about his work situation because he did not have access to jobseeker or jobkeeper support on a temporary visa.

“We have had hundreds of thousands of temporary visa applicants who don’t have any support in a recession where obviously employers won’t choose to employ them necessarily if they are not going to get the subsidy,” he said.

“I’m just making the point, so you make decisions at the federal level, they can have consequences down the track.

“We did say there should be modest support for people on temporary visas. You can’t give them nothing because they will end up being in a difficult situation as clearly is the case

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What time is ‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ premiere tonight? New season filmed in quarantine bubble, sans Snooki.

Jerzday takes on the pandemic in the latest season of “Jersey Shore.”

Yes, the reality show that launched a million “cabs are heres” is still on TV, this time without Snooki.

Here are the details. You know, in case you weren’t planning to watch “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion instead.

‘Jersey Shore Family Vacation’ season 4

Series mainstay Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi announced she was leaving MTV’s “Jersey Shore Family Vacation” in 2019, saying the show wasn’t fun anymore/too much drama and not worth spending time away from her three children.

The third season, she said, would be her last.

Jersey Shore Family Vacation

From left: Vinny Guadagnino, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, Lauren Sorrentino, Deena Nicole Buckner, what appears to be some kind of JWoww doll and Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino in the new season of “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.”MTV

Polizzi, 32, who lives in Florham Park and owns the Snooki Shop boutique in Madison, had returned alongside the majority of the original cast (sans Sammi “Sweetheart” Giancola) in 2018 for the “Jersey Shore” revival “Jersey Shore Family Vacation.”

The original series that propelled the Shore denizens to reality show fame for their antics in Seaside Heights, Miami and Italy, debuted in 2009 and left MTV in 2012.

‘Jersey Shore,’ but make it a ‘quarantine bubble’

The revival series has followed the original cast through weddings, parenthood, divorce and prison.

Now: COVID-19.

We were already well into the pandemic when the previous season of “Jersey Shore” ended in June.

The fourth season of the show, filmed in a quarantine “bubble” at a Nevada hotel — Paul “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio “rents” the entire place — starts Thursday.

These new episodes see the cast picking up the pieces after the notorious speech at Angelina Larangeira’s (née Pivarnick) 2019 East Brunswick wedding that preceded/sparked Snooki’s exit from the show (see series refresher below).

A trailer for the season (see clip above) shows DelVecchio wearing a mask while driving a car that appears to be filled with … replica dolls of his female castmates?

It wouldn’t the first time DelVecchio has deployed a doll … he did the same when Sammi Giancola declined to participate in the show in 2018. The Sammi doll became a fixture in the first run of the revival series.

DelVecchio, Vinny Guadagnino, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Ronnie Ortiz-Magro mobilize to bring the rest of the cast back together in the wake of the wedding debacle (Pauly and Ronnie already live in Vegas), which saw Larangeira and her Staten Island guests take great offense to a roast-slash-wedding speech delivered by the women of the cast.

Minus Snooki, the remainder of the returning cast is rounded out by Larangeira, Holmdel’s Jenni “JWoww” Farley and Jackson’s Deena Nicole Buckner, née Cortese. From the trailer, it also appears as if Sorrentino’s wife, Lauren, who has been a regular presence on the show, again plays a part, filling in a bit for the missing “meatball.”

What time is the ‘Jersey Shore’ premiere?

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