Quarantine residents told to park on street, walk to hotel


A GOLD Coaster in hotel quarantine is stunned she can't be let out for fresh air yet was able to park her car on arrival nearby in Surfers Paradise and walk to the site.

Brittany Morris, 30, returned from Victoria last week after spending months caring for her sick grandmother. She says she has been shocked by quarantine conditions and illogical protocols in Surfers Paradise Voco hotel.

The stuntwoman and vegan took all precautions she could on a 22-hour journey back to Queensland but was surprised when told to find street parking and then return to the hotel to start her quarantine.

A lack of on-site parking at the quarantine hotels means those driving from hot spots have been asked to park on the street or in private car parks nearby before walking back.

"That was surprising given they were so strict about COVID but happy for us to wander back whenever we wanted," she said.

Gold Coast woman Brittany Morris with her dog Bruce.
Gold Coast woman Brittany Morris with her dog Bruce.

"The border was about to close when my nanna was going in for heart surgery so I had no choice but to face quarantine when I got back.

"I made sure I tested negative before I left Victoria and drove home the backway to avoid Sydney just to be safe."

Ms Morris said she did not mind having to isolate but was disturbed by a lack of nutritious food for those with dietary needs and expectations she would stay in a room for two weeks with no hit of fresh air.

Ms Morris said she was not provided dinner her first night and had to remind staff of her dietary needs repeatedly.

"They forgot breakfast and lunch. Both times I had to call and remind them I was here.

"We are meant to pay thousands but one of the meals I was provided has been almost a relish and pita bread, the others are overcooked lentils. Other meals were store-bought microwave packs.
"I understand how much pressure they are under but it is tough with the food combined with not being able to leave. It has been seven days and not once have I been taken outside for fresh air. They say they are only letting out those with a medical condition.

Vegan food served at the Gold Coast's quarantine hotels.
Vegan food served at the Gold Coast's quarantine hotels.

A Queensland Health spokesman said the quarantine was an important tool in the fight to keep Queenslanders safe, in addition to stringent border controls, social distancing and robust testing.

"If you are in quarantine, you must not leave your hotel room except in an emergency or to obtain essential medical care. There are some circumstances whereby people may leave their rooms while in quarantine, however they must remain on the hotel's property unless they receive approval.

Britany's room at VOCO hotel.
Britany's room at VOCO hotel.

"Leaving the hotel's property to take a walk is not considered a valid reason as it poses too great a risk to the general public."

The department did not clarify why those asked to quarantine were asked to park off site and walk back to the hotel.

Originally published as Quarantine residents told to park on street and walk to hotel