The state of Victoria in Australia has been forced to introduce a five-day “circuit breaker” lockdown due to an outbreak of Covid-19 cases stemming from its hotel quarantine regime.
Authorities in Melbourne have found 13 cases of a UK Covid-19 variant linked to a quarantine worker who became infected at a Holiday Inn property in the city, according to multiple reports. The state’s lockdown will run from Friday (12 February) until Wednesday (17 February).
The UK is due to introduce its own enforced hotel quarantine regime for arrivals from 33 “high risk” destinations on Monday (15 February), with the UK regulations set to be looser than in Australia.
The outbreak in Melbourne, which has been linked to the use of a nebuliser, has meant that spectators are now banned from attending the Australian Open tennis tournament in the city. Although the tournament will continue behind closed doors.
One of the biggest differences between the UK and Australian hotel quarantine rules is that people cannot leave their rooms in Australia.
But in the UK, the government has said hotel security staff can accompany quarantining guests to “access outside space should they need to smoke or get fresh air”.