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COVID-19: Queensland to introduce Home Quarantine for interstate travellers

COVID-19: Queensland to introduce Home Quarantine for interstate travellers

For eligible travellers entering Queensland from Victoria and South Australia – both qualifying under the states health orders as ‘hotspots’, it might be possible to complete our 14-day quarantine at ‘home’. This provision takes effect from 1 am on 30 July 2021. Those entering from NSW, abandon all hope, you are still banned.

What is involved

You will need to have a ‘suitable residence’, which in most cases will be a house, flat, apartment or unit. Hotel rooms will not qualify. You will be confined to the property. If in a house that will include outdoors. If an apartment, that means you can stray onto the balcony, but not community spaces. You can’t leave to shop, exercise, or basically anything other than COVID-19 testing on days 1, 5 and 12.

You can quarantine in a home occupied by others, but you must observe COVID safe procedures like keeping your distance from others, use a separate bathroom where possible, keep high touch areas regularly sanitised, stay away from food preparation etc.

Enforcement

They won’t just be leaving this up to trust, oh no! There will be ‘significant’ enforcement and compliance. Expect that to mean regular physical visits from law enforcement if schemes in South Australia and other districts are any indication. If you breach the requirements, then expect fines or even hotel quarantine!

How to get home

Don’t use public transport, you idiot! Preference is for your own car or transport provided by a household member. If none of those alternatives is a possibility, then you can take a taxi or rideshare, with appropriate precautions (mask and hand sanitiser for driver and passenger), and preferably a physical barrier like a transparent shield.

Hotspots

For Queensland at the moment, ‘declared hotspots‘ include everywhere in the following states:

  • New South Wales (can’t enter – unless a resident or with an exemption)
  • South Australia (quarantine required)
  • Victoria (quarantine required)

Victoria and South Australia may have finished their lockdowns, but they are still unclean as far as Queensland is concerned due to their elevated number of cases. Other states are not considered hotspots, and so travel from them into Queensland does not require quarantine or isolation.

2PAXfly Takeout

South Australia is also trialling home detention, sorry quarantine for international travellers. To qualify, you must be vaccinated fully, enter from a low-risk country, submit to testing and reside in South Australia. Remember fully vaccinated people can still catch and transmit COVID-19.

This has been used already in South Australia for those previously returning from hotspot states. From anecdotes, it’s hard to distance from other household members or resist one’s natural instinct to socialisation. That’s OK if there is no infection. Not so good if there is.

If the trial goes successfully, which means police forces can handle it, and returnees obey the rules, expect this to be rolled out nationally.

Even I, who is perfectly happy with my own company find the thought of 14 days confined to a hotel room as a bit daunting.

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