Medi-hotel quarantine order for overseas arrivals under spotlight

SA Health says airport processes are being “reviewed” in an attempt to allow approved travellers to go directly to home quarantine rather than to a medi-hotel first.

Dec 08, 2021, updated Dec 08, 2021
Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

It comes after confusion and complaints from overseas travellers arriving in Adelaide who have been directed into hotel quarantine despite having approval to isolate at home.

Adelaide doctor John Meegan told InDaily his family was left shocked when his son Xavier, 25, arrived last Thursday night after two years in Europe and was abruptly sent to the Playford medi-hotel.

“They just whisked him away in a bus and he spent three stressful nights there,” Meegan said.

The family had believed he would be allowed to quarantine in their large home with Xavier having his own bedroom and ensuite.

“Every time my son spoke to someone at the hotel he got a different story,” Meegan said.

“What was really stressful was arriving with no warning whatsoever, or information provided to you, and then just being whisked off on a bus when we’d been told to turn up to the airport and pick him up.

Xavier was eventually allowed to leave three days later to quarantine alone in a family beach house on the south coast.

Australian golfer Wade Ormsby tweeted about his “welcome home” to South Australia from Singapore on Monday.

“Jammed on a bus, sent to hotel quarantine. Pre approved for home quarantine as I’m double vaxxed and qualify via criteria set by our government,” he said.

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“Completed entry check SA and approved. Zero information.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for SA Health said: “Up until 27th November, international arrivals pre-approved for home quarantine were able to directly travel from the airport to their home.”

“With the WHO declaration regarding Omicron, in an abundance of caution, international arrivals have been taken to a medi-hotel, for a short period of time to allow for assessment of the suitability of the home quarantine arrangement and to ensure testing compliance,” the spokesperson said.

“The processes at the airport are being reviewed to support travellers approved to home quarantine to safely transit directly home as well as ensuring testing upon disembarkation of the flight.”

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