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Everything You Need To Know About Hotel Quarantine in Australia

Hotel Quarantine in Australia
Reyana Nacerodien
Reyana Nacerodien Updated: 13 May 2021
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If you’ve made plans to travel or you’re already abroad, there are some things you will need to know about quarantine when you return. As we are still in the midst of a pandemic, there are precautions you need to be mindful of when you get back.

Upon your return, you’ll need to undergo a quarantine period to prevent the potential spread of the virus. A Public Health Order by the Minister for Health and Medical Research, states that all international travelers must quarantine in a designated quarantine facility, such as a hotel. You’ll have to remain in your allocated accommodation until you’re medically cleared.

Key facts

  • Returning residents are, by law, expected to undergo a quarantine period at an associated facility such as a partnering hotel.
  • A hotel quarantine is set for a minimum of 14 days but can be up to 24 days long.
  • The quarantine period is designed to keep you safe and prevent COVID-19 from spreading, so there are several restrictions in place.
  • Not abiding by quarantine rules comes with severe penalties.

What to expect when you arrive

From the time you arrive back in the country, there are specific measures taken to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

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At the airport

Upon landing, border officials will typically board the plane and share relevant information with all passengers. Officials will then guide passengers through the airport. It’s important to note that you generally won’t be allowed to do activities in the airport like shopping.

Moving through customs

Returning residents who arrive by plane are required to undergo a COVID-19 symptom and temperature check at customs. Should you display any symptoms, a test will be done at the airport and you’ll be transported to a partnering hotel to await your results. Your luggage will follow separately.

If you have no symptoms, you’ll generally be allowed to collect your luggage and proceed to a hotel or other quarantine facility.

Travel to your hotel

Travel to a quarantine hotel is typically arranged for all travellers. Buses, which are limited to half the number of passengers, wait at the airport ready to take you to your designated hotel.

exterior room

Arrival at your quarantine hotel

When you arrive, you will be allocated a room based on availability. Checking in at the hotel can take some time. Remember that this experience will be quite different to a normal hotel stay.

Take note: This is general information and procedures may vary according to states. It’s best to check the specifics of your states quarantine procedures before you arrive.

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Can you choose your own hotel?

You cannot choose your quarantine hotel. Rather, hotels are allocated to travellers based on availability on the day. Special requirements such as disability access should ideally be affirmed with the health authority in the state you are travelling to in advance.

How long is quarantine in Australia

Hotel quarantine is generally set for a minimum of 14 days but can be up to 24 days long. The Chief Health Officer may release you after 14 days if they are satisfied that the risk of spreading infection is low. Typically your health will be monitored throughout your stay and you’ll be required to undergo regular testing for COVID-19.

quarantine location 467x350 1
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Pictures taken at a quarantine hotel in Darwin

Your time in quarantine

room

Your room

Depending on the size of your party, you’ll be assigned a single, double or family room. Facilities in your room typically include a bed, desk and chair, small bathroom, bar fridge, and kettle. Depending on the hotel you’re in, you may have a window or access to a small balcony.

desk bell

Hotel amenities

You will generally be confined to your hotel room for the entire duration of your quarantine and will only be able to use limited hotel amenities outside of that room. Services that can be provided without any social interaction, like laundry services and food delivery. It’s also important to note that hotel staff won’t be able to enter your room to clean it for you.

breakfast

Meals

Your hotel quarantine accommodation generally comes with three meals per day. As in ordinary circumstances, food will vary based on the establishment. Food allergies and other dietary requirements will be catered for.

Health services

Expect to be routinely tested for COVID-19. You’ll typically be tested on day 2 and 12 of your quarantine period or at any time should symptoms appear. Anyone who tests positive will receive the necessary medical care which may be in a different facility such as a hospital. You may also be required to wear a health monitoring device throughout your stay. You’ll also have access to other health services should you need them

watching tv

Recreation

It’s best to plan for your quarantine period, especially if you have children with you. You can generally expect WiFi, a telephone and television. However, you may want to pack books, puzzles and games and download movies if the internet connection isn’t reliable. You may also want to arrange for a WiFi dongle to be delivered to you to ensure your connection remains stable.

fitness

Exercise

The hotel gym will typically be off-limits. So, you’ll need to make use of in-room exercise options that you can do in the limited space such as online workouts. It may also be a good idea to pack a yoga mat, resistance bands or a skipping rope. Depending on where you’re quarantining, you may even be able to rent exercise equipment like stationary bikes, treadmills or weights.

What happens if you don’t comply with the quarantine rules?

Not abiding by quarantine rules generally comes with severe penalties. These penalties vary between states. In Tasmania, you can be fined up to $8,400, while the maximum penalty is $25,000 in South Australia. Avoiding quarantine can cost you up to $11,000 and six months in jail in New South Wales, and you could face 12 months in jail or a fine of $50,000 in Western Australia.

Hotel Quarantine by State

Every person arriving in Australia from overseas is required to contribute to the cost of their hotel quarantine. Generally, you can expect services and facilities that can be provided to your room without social interaction.

StateCost (14 days of quarantine)What to expect
New South Wales
  • $3,000 for one adult
  • $1,000 for each additional adult
  • $500 for each child aged three and over
  • children under three stay free of charge
  • 24hour support from the NSW health team
  • Daily meals provided
  • You may use takeaway services once per day at your own cost
  • Hotel receptions manage additional items including personal care items
South Australia
  • $3,000 for one adult
  • $1,000 for each additional adult
  • $500 for each child aged three and over
  • children under three stay free of charge
  • Daily check-ins by the medi-hotel health care team
  • Daily meals provided
  • You may use takeaway services once per day at your own cost
  • Hotel concierge available to assist with guest needs
Victoria
  • $3,000 for one adult
  • $1,000 for each additional adult
  • $500 for each child aged three and over
  • children under three stay free of charge
  • $5000 for a group or family of three adults sharing
  • $5500 for a group or family of two adults and three children over three years sharing
  • $3000 for a group or family of one adult and one child under three years sharing
  • Onsite medical care and welfare support
  • Three meals with drinks and three snacks a day that meet your reasonable dietary requirements
  • Essential personal items, such as toiletries and baby products
  • Toys, games and crafts for children
  • You can order deliveries to make your time in quarantine
  • The hotel can launder personal items
  • Hiring of basic exercise and fitness equipment for use in your room after you have received a negative result for your day 0 covid-19 test
Queensland
  • $2,800 for one adult
  • $3,710 for two adults sharing
  • $4,620 for two adults and two children sharing
  • On call medical assistance
  • Daily meals provided
  • You can order takeaway and supermarket deliveries or arrange for friends and family to drop off food and other items
  • Hotel receptions manage additional items including personal care items
Western Australia
  • $2520 for one adult
  • $3360 for two adults sharing
  • $60 for each additional person/room/day
  • Medical staff available 24/7
  • Daily meals provided
  • Care packages and food deliveries can be delivered to the hotel
  • Laundry services available upon request
  • Hiring of basic exercise equipment based on restrictions
Northern Territory
  • $2,500 per person
  • $5,000 family rate of for family groups of two or more people sharing
  • Daily meals provided
  • health support staff on call
  • Hotel receptions assist with guest needs
Tasmania
  • $2,800 for one adult
  • $1,000 for an additional adult
  • $500 for children aged three and over
  • children under three stay free of charge
  • accommodation charges will be capped at $4,800
  • Health support available
  • Daily meals provided
  • You can order takeaway and supermarket deliveries or arrange for friends and family to drop off food and other items
  • Pre-arranged outside time permitted
  • Hotel receptions assist with guest needs
Australian Capital Territory
  • $3,000 for one adult
  • $1,000 for an additional adult
  • $500 for children aged three and over
  • children under three stay free of charge
  • $5,000 for a family of two adults and two children, over the age of three, in one room
  • $6,000 for a family of two adults and four children over the age of three
  • The ACT Government provides some basic items and an allowance to purchase food while you are in quarantine. These are included in your fixed quarantine fee and will be supplied to you at check-in to the hotel.
  • You can order other items and have them delivered.
  • Washing machine and dryer found in your hotel room.

Source: nsw.gov.au, covid-19.sa.gov.au, coronavirus.vic.gov.au, qld.gov.au, health.wa.gov.au, coronavirus.nt.gov.au, coronavirus.tas.gov.au, covid19.act.gov.au (May 2021)

quarantine illustration

Everything you need to pack for quarantine

Quarantine accommodation can vary, so it’s best to be prepared with some of the following items.

Documents/Cards

Healthcare

Entertainment

Kitchen utensils

Tips for transitioning back to normality after quarantine

Resuming normal life post-quarantine can be an adjustment. Here’s what you can do to make it a bit easier:

  • Take it slow getting back into the swing of things.
  • Prepare a to-do list of things you need to do such as grocery shopping.
  • Talk to your kids about life getting back to normal.
  • Stick to a routine while in quarantine that’s similar to your regular habits.

Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Do I still have to do 14 days quarantine if I return a negative COVID-19 test result after arriving in Australia?

    Yes, even if you receive a negative COVID-19 test result, you will need to complete the mandatory quarantine period of at least 14 days. Only once the Chief Health Officer has cleared you will you be released from quarantine.
  • Am I still required to have a COVID-19 test if I am only transiting through Australia?

    Yes, as an international transit passenger arriving in Australia, you can leave on another international flight from the city you arrived in. However, you must stay at the airport for up to 8 hours while waiting for your next flight or go to a state designated quarantine facility if the wait is longer. You will not be allowed to travel within the country even to meet a departing international flight in another city.
  • Do I need to get a COVID-19 test before travelling to Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Yes, pre-departure test is required for all travellers to Australia. The test must be done at least 72 hours or less prior to departure. A negative test result must be shown at the time of check-in. Travellers arriving from green safe travel zones are exempt from pre-departure testing requirements.
  • Do I still need to quarantine if I travel to Australia after getting the vaccine?

    Yes, international travellers arriving in Australia will still need to quarantine upon arrival even if they have been vaccinated.
  • When is day 1 of quarantine?

    This varies depending on the location you travel to. In certain states, day 1 is the day after your arrival in Australia. On the other hand, some states consider day 1 as the day your plane lands. It’s best to check when your day 1 is with the authorities in your state before you arrive.

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