November 28, 2022

Coronavirus Australia news: Zero community transmission cases in Australia today, Health Minister Greg Hunt says

A resident living above The Westin hotel in Brisbane has expressed concerned about how hotel…

Coronavirus Australia news: Zero community transmission cases in Australia today, Health Minister Greg Hunt says
A resident living above The Westin hotel in Brisbane has expressed concerned about how hotel quarantine guests were relocated from the ill-fated Hotel Grand Chancellor, saying she unwittingly came within metres as the guests were transferred through the reception area.

The Hotel Grand Chancellor was evacuated yesterday and its 129 guests moved to The Westin as authorities investigate how the highly-contagious UK strain spread on its seventh floor, infecting six people.

Isabel Forrest, a long-term resident in an apartment above The Westin, said she was not warned they were coming.

Upon returning from the gym yesterday, Ms Forrest found three ambulances in the driveway as people wearing personal protective equipment were unloaded.

She said she was given no notice the guests were arriving.

“Surely when they bring them over … they should actually quarantine the whole [lobby] area and not let residents walk through,” she said. 

“The strain of this virus is apparently 70 per cent more contagious and they’re going to a hotel that shares the same space as many residents do.

“I was less than 3 metres away from the people who were getting off the ambulances, without me knowing they were coming from the Chancellor hotel.”

Ms Forrest said in the past when buses have arrived with returned travellers to quarantine at The Westin, authorities blocked off communal areas while guests entered the building, but that was not the case on Wednesday. 

“If they’re taking these measures why do they not think further and go, ‘OK there is 150 apartments above this hotel used by residents that could get exposed to this virus’, when they transport these people over — why don’t they use a separate door or a separate entrance?

“I am happy that there are police, army and you can see the medical team here all the time which is great.

“But if this strain is so strong and if [Premier] Annastacia [Palaszczuk] is extending the quarantine restrictions to these poor people, why are they not protecting other individuals like myself and all the residents here from being exposed to the virus?” 

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said all 129 guests being transferred from the Hotel Grand Chancellor to The Westin were wearing PPE and it was unlikely there was any risk if they crossed paths with residents.