Award-winning journalist Virginia Trioli has taken a brutal swipe at hotel security guards being investigated for allegedly sleeping with isolated guests at quarantine hotels in Melbourne.
The 54-year-old posted to social media on Tuesday night and appeared to blame security guards for sending Melbourne into lockdown for the coming six weeks.
‘Well I sure hope those security guards had their fun, because they utterly f***ed us too,’ she wrote alongside a glass of red wine.
‘Here’s to lockdown number two.’
Ms Trioli was seemingly referencing claims security guards at quarantine hotels in Melbourne were sexually active with guests in isolation.
Award-winning journalist Virginia Trioli has taken a brutal swipe at hotel security guards being investigated for allegedly sleeping with isolated guests at quarantine hotels in Melbourne
The 54-year-old took to social media on Tuesday blaming the security guards for sending Melbourne into lockdown for the coming six weeks
The claims are currently being investigated as part of a probe into the state’s bungled quarantine program.
Premier Daniel Andrews launched an inquiry into hotel quarantine breaches which may have contributed to the state’s spike in community transmission cases.
As a result of the outbreak, the premier announced he was sending Melbourne back into lockdown for six weeks from 11.59pm Wednesday.
Mitchell Shire to the north of the state capital will also re-enter stage three social distancing restrictions after Victoria confirmed a record 191 cases of the virus on Tuesday.
To ensure people only leave their home for essential reasons – work and study, giving or receiving care, shopping for essentials and daily exercise near where they live – police will be deploying number-plate recognition software to trace drivers.
The return to strict social distancing rules comes as the border between Victoria and New South Wales was closed for the first time in 100 years.
Ms Trioli appeared to be referencing claims that security guards at quarantine hotels in Melbourne were sexually active with guests in isolation
The whole of Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire north of the city will be placed back into lock down for six weeks from 11.59pm on Wednesday after Victoria recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus – its worst figure yet. Pictured: A map showing the suburbs in lockdown
Premier Andrews said while Melbourne’s outer border wouldn’t act like a ‘hard checkpoint’ with checks for every vehicles, police will be tracking registrations to tell where a car is coming from.
Mr Andrews said there was ‘no alternative’ to bans on two people or more gathering who don’t live together – and limiting pubs, cafes and restaurants to takeaway only.
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 8,755
New South Wales: 3,433
Western Australia: 621
South Australia: 443
Australian Capital Territory: 108
Northern Territory: 30
TOTAL CASES: 8,755
Prime Minister Scott Morrison agreed on Tuesday afternoon to a request from Premier Andrews for another 260 ADF personnel to help close roads across Melbourne.
Shortly after Mr Andrews’ announcement, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt suggested Victoria’s second wave could have been avoided, while an infectious disease expert said the outbreak could ‘definitely’ spread to other parts of the country.
Despite being allowed to shop during lockdown, large queues of customers were seen outside Melbourne’s supermarkets on Tuesday night as residents stocked up on supplies before six weeks of home confinement.
Meanwhile, Mr Hunt told A Current Affair on Tuesday night the impact of the Victorian second wave is ‘more significant than anybody had anticipated’.
‘What we are facing now, the response we had planned for, unfortunately, is on a scale that is greater than was expected,’ he said.
Mr Hunt said the outbreak may have been avoided had it not been for significant quarantine breaches throughout the state.
‘A hotel quarantine breach is an avoidable breach,’ he said. ‘We have been able to successfully implement that in seven out of eight states and territories, they have done a remarkable job right around the country.
New lockdown: Victoria has recorded 191 new cases of coronavirus – its worst figure for the state yet. Pictured: Police and nurses wearing protective equipment outside tower blocks in north Melbourne
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the impact of the Victorian second wave is ‘more significant than anybody had anticipated’
‘The Victorian government has acknowledged this was a breach that could and should have been prevented.
‘There have been standards, and what we have seen is that they have been maintained and protected across the country. Unfortunately, there have been real and significant breaches within Victoria with major consequences, enormous consequences, and that is why there is a judicial enquiry.
‘Right across the country, the combination of border control, testing, tracing, and distancing has allowed us to fly to the curve.
‘In Victoria those breaches show how dangerous and deadly the disease is and how contagious it is, but we’re going to get there. We know how to do it.’
The future of Victoria’s troubled hotel quarantine program is in question amid a surge in COVID-19 cases and the looming lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne.
Nearly a dozen NSW Police officers are pictured speaking to drivers crossing from Victoria into New South Wales as the border was closed from 11.59pm on Tuesday
Frontline health care workers wearing full personal protective equipment in Flemington on Sunday during Victoria’s second wave surge in coronavirus infections
It means Victoria still may not be able to accept any more returned travellers after the temporary diversion of international flights to other states ends next week.
Premier Daniel Andrews said he’s focused on tackling the surge of coronavirus cases in the community and enforcing a return to stage three restrictions.
‘Our focus is, appropriately, on dealing with extra cases, on dealing with outbreaks, and doing everything we can to enforce these lockdowns and make sure they work,’ he said.
‘We may not be in a position to resume (taking returned travellers) at the end of this two-week pause.’
International flights into Victoria were diverted for two weeks on June 30 and a judicial inquiry was announced into the state’s hotel quarantine system following widespread claims of infection control breaches.
The premier on Tuesday stressed no decision had been made about whether Victoria would keep accepting international flights and he needed to speak to Prime Minister Scott Morrison about it.
This graph shows how community transmission has soared in Victoria as a second wave of COVID-19 grips the state