Travellers undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine are supplied with cleaning products and have to make their own beds because it's too risky for hotel staff to enter rooms.

And free access to nicotine replacement therapy is available for people who smoke because no one is allowed outside.

The Courier-Mail can reveal some of the processes for hotel quarantine which thousands of people have been required to use since the COVID-19 pandemic erupted.

At the airport

Passengers who arrive by air from a hotspot will have their Queensland Border Declaration Passes reviewed and processed within the same terminal by police.

If a domestic passenger who has arrived from a hotspot needs to catch another flight, they are escorted by police or officials through a separate terminal to other flights.

Anyone arriving from a hotspot who is not a Queensland resident is not allowed to enter the state.

"Arrangements will be made for them to return to their home state," a Queensland Police Service spokeswoman said.

Queensland Police take the Gold Coast Bulletin behind the scenes in one of the undisclosed Gold Coast Quarantine Hotels. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp
Queensland Police take the Gold Coast Bulletin behind the scenes in one of the undisclosed Gold Coast Quarantine Hotels. Photo: Scott Powick Newscorp

"If a Queensland resident arrives from a COVID-19 declared hotspot they will be processed and provided with a hotel quarantine direction.

"Unless an exception applies."

Hotel procedures

Officers then escort those required to quarantine to buses and taxis.

"It is the discretion of the District Disaster Coordination Centre (DDCC) to decide which hotel people will be placed in," the spokeswoman said.

"Many factors are assessed during this process including; hotel capacity, medical conditions and number of guests in one room."

Those hotels are not used for any other purpose, allowing police to spread guests across the facility.

The first flight from New Zealand arriving at the Brisbane International Airport. Photo: Liam Kidston
The first flight from New Zealand arriving at the Brisbane International Airport. Photo: Liam Kidston

Guests are allowed to receive items from outside the hotel like food, with deliveries facilitated by police and hotel staff.

"Specific health measures have been implemented at all hotels participating in the quarantine program to restrict guests from having direct contact with other guests, staff and police," the police spokeswoman said.

"There is 24/7 police presence at all Queensland quarantine hotels, where officers provide welfare and security checks."

Because it is too risky for hotel staff to enter rooms, fresh linen and cleaning products are left at guests' doors.

No one is allowed outside their rooms (unless it has a private balcony) including people who smoke, with health authorities offering free access to nicotine replacement therapy.

Clinicians visit guests in their rooms to undertake COVID-19 testing twice during the 14-day period.

If someone tests positive, they are transferred via ambulance to a suitable hospital for treatment.

A Queensland Health spokeswoman said anyone who tests positive is not allowed to stay at the hotel, even if they show mild or no symptoms.

"Queensland's hotel quarantine policy has been instrumental in keeping COVID-19 out of the community," she said.

Originally published as What really happens to travellers taken into hotel quarantine


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