Australians forced to self-isolate in luxury five star hotels continue to complain about their living conditions despite enjoying three meals and a bottle of wine each day, free internet and laundry service.
Thousands of people returning from overseas in recent days have been put in 14-day quarantine in some of Australia’s most luxurious hotels in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus.
While some are enjoying city views from their hotel room windows, the isolation and lack of fresh air has taken a toll on others, including Australian food presenter Lyndey Milan.
The cooking show personality, who has spent two days in isolation at the five-star Sydney Hilton hotel, took to Instagram on Monday night to complain dinner still hadn’t arrived by 8.30pm.
‘Hungry jet-lagged people not yet fed at 8.30pm,’ she captioned the video.
‘They don’t answer the phone. No one has been fed,’ she’s heard telling staff guarding the rooms outside.
Pictured: A traveller who has been holed up in a Sydney hotel to stop the spread of the coronavirus. She posted to Instagram on Monday to share an insight into life inside the quarantine
One traveller complained about the timing of the dinner service, sharing a picture of her yet-to-be-eaten meal at 9.51pm and comparing it to plane food
Among the first to be isolated were Norwegian Jewel cruise ship passengers, who arrived in Sydney last Thursday.
Buses transported the arrivals to the five-star Hotel Swissotel, where they’ve been stuck inside their lavish rooms for the last three nights.
Guests have taken to a closed Facebook group to rant about the conditions and claim they’ve been treated worse than prisoners.
Among them was Di Minter, who took to the Facebook page on Monday after her breakfast didn’t arrive until 10am.
‘Coco pops with milk, yoghurt, no spoon, no bowl to eat from, no juice, a cold slice of toast, butter and a choice of vegemite or peanut butter,’ she wrote.
‘Hmmm. I think I was the forgotten one. Thank goodness I’m a forward thinker, saved some juice from yesterday’s pastries too as they gave me a double serving. Detainee 1605.’
But that same traveller also gave a more optimistic take on her quarantine, sharing how she had made friends with her next-door neighbours and formed a WhatsApp group to wait out the two-week period with them
Di Minter (left) and Australian food presenter Lyndey Milan (right) have both taken to social media to complain about the standard of their food
Robert Wong received his breakfast around the same time.
‘Though my meal is diabetic, it appears the serving is incomplete,’ he wrote.
‘One tub of yoghurt, one tub of fruits, a bundle of vegemite, peanut butter, butter and two weetbix cakes.
‘Where are the sandwiches (if any)? What is the point of providing butter, vegemites, ect with nothing to go with it.’
A letter from Swissotel uploaded on the page insisted it is trying to make guests stay comfortable during their two weeks in quarantine.
Guests can order toiletries, fresh fruit, jars of coffee, snacks, medical supplies and alcohol, which is limited to one bottle of wine or three beers a day per room.
They also receive complimentary internet and a free laundry service if they leave their laundry outside before 7pm each night.
Lyndey Milan and other guests on her floor at the Hilton in Sydney were still waiting for dinner to arrive at 8.30pm Monday night
One traveller who returned from Singapore gave a more optimistic take on her quarantine, sharing how she had made friends with her next-door neighbours and formed a WhatsApp group to wait out the two-week period with them.
But she too complained about the timing of the dinner service, sharing a picture of her yet-to-be-eaten meal at 9.51pm and comparing it to plane food.
‘Tonight’s dinner is finally here,’ she wrote.
‘Does this remind you of plane food? If it’s pre-prepared from a catering company, why does it come so late? I miss making my own food.’
One woman claimed she was being treated ‘worse than refugees or prisoners’, while another said her five-star hotel was a ‘miserable hellhole’.
No complaints: Two Australians being quarantined at the Crown Promenade waved to media on Monday from their high rise hotel room
Quarantine and chill: One woman who was sent to the Hilton hotel in Sydney took to Instagram to show off her lavish suite
In Sydney, travellers are being sent to the InterContinental, Hilton, Swissotel and the Novotel on Darling Harbour.
All three hotels are upmarket with starting prices of over $200 a night for standard rooms.
In Melbourne, people are being accommodated in the Crown Promenade where guests typically pay a minimum price of $233 per night.
One woman who was sent to Hilton Sydney for her quarantine shared footage of her spacious hotel room. She was particularly impressed with a television screen installed in the bathroom.
Another decided to dress up in a white gown to pose for a picture in his Hilton hotel room, sharing the photo online with the caption: ‘Did someone say ”quarantine”?’
One man who was sent to the Crown Promenade in Melbourne thanked the taxpayers for his free food and accommodation in a series of Instagram stories.
‘To all you guys paying taxes over the past year, thank you very much,’ he said while showing his followers the meal that was dropped at his door.
The return travellers are updating their Instagram followers about what life is like in the 14-day quarantine
In Melbourne people are being accommodated in the Crown Promenade, where guests pay at least $233 per night
Police Commissioner Mick Fuller, who has been tasked with handling the New South Wales coronavirus response, said those being required to isolate should stop complaining.
‘I understand that maybe the sheets do not get changed daily but you are coming back into… five-star hotels. They are not going that badly. There are people after the bushfires still living in tents and caravans. People are going okay,’ he said.
‘The reality is they are in a hotel room, and yes, they will be isolated for 14 days. That is for their own protection, the protection of their family members and the protection of the NSW community.
Which hotels are being used for quarantine
Swissotel on Market Street in Sydney’s CBD – housing 292 former Norwegian Jewel cruise ship passengers who flew into Sydney on Thursday
Novotel on Darling Harbour
Rydges Airport Hotel (not an official quarantine hotel but is housing forcibly quarantined travellers)
Crown Promenade in Southbank, in the CBD – housing travellers who arrived from Auckland, Santiago, Doha and other destinations
Airport Novotel Hotel – housing passengers from the flight that arrived into Brisbane from Denpasar at 4.46am on Sunday
Ibis hotel at Brisbane Airport
Travellers returning to Australia are being quarantined under guard at luxury hotels amid the coronavirus pandemic