Updated: Nov 2, 2021
After traveling back to Australia, we arrived in Sydney and found ourselves stuck in mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine AGAIN. We've been living in a small room at Sydney Harbour Marriott without any access to fresh air or the ability to go outside of our tiny room.
Australia has had the policy in place since summer 2020 and hasn't eased up in the slightest. We were quietly hoping that the quarantine would be gone by the time we returned to the southern hemisphere for year two, but unfortunately, things didn't go our way.
At this point, we are hotel quarantine professionals. We know all the ins and outs of how to make the stay as comfortable as possible. Being stuck alone for 14 days of quarantine feels similar to solitary confinement. Both Rasmus and I concur that doing the quarantine together is much better for mental health and is cheaper.
In our first year, we were split due to border regulations, and this time, we were able to make it happen together. We documented our experience in a YouTube video and hope you enjoy it. We figure if we can stay in one room together for 336 hours that we can probably do just about anything!
Play our video below:
About Australia’s Hotel Quarantine
If you arrive from overseas in Australia, you will have to complete mandatory quarantine, with no exceptions. According to the police, Quarantine is used to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community. The duration of hotel quarantine is for a minimum of 14 days up to 24 days. The Chief Health Officer may release a person after 14 days if satisfied that the person does not pose a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.
In making the assessment, the Chief Health Officer must consider any testing conducted by health officials. When in hotel quarantine you will get a COVID-19 test on day two, day seven, and day 12 of the quarantine period, or at any time you first experience COVID-19 symptoms.
If the results are all negative, you will be able to leave the hotel quarantine at the end of 14 full days providing you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and have been approved to do so by an authorized person.
Below is a video done by ABC News, you get some good footage of the military here. They didn't let me film them.
Q & A
Starting November 1st, 2021 hotel quarantining requirements will be easing in NSW and Victoria. To get the latest info, visit the state website you'll be flying into: New South Wales Victoria
Can you get fresh air?
Absolutely not. You may not leave your quarantine accommodation for any reason.
How do they do meals, and can you get takeaway?
Three meals a day arrive outside your hotel door. You must be masked to open the door to collect your food. Yes, you can order from UberEats, and the hotel will deliver it to your room after inspection.
What if you have dietary restrictions?
I am gluten-free, and all hotels have been accommodating.
To what extent is the Australian military involved?
The military is involved in most of the steps along the way. They are involved in the de-planing process for international flights, assisting you onto the buses and escorting you into your hotel room. The rooms are also guarded by them 24/7.
Do the hotel staff clean?
There is no cleaning during your hotel stay. They do provide clean sheets on day six or seven. We had to order our cleaning supplies to keep the place tidy.
Can you have alcohol?
In the Marriot, they allowed us to order one bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer per person each day.
How do they do the COVID-19 testing?
Nurses arrive at your door three times throughout your stay and collect throat and nasal swabs while in your doorway.
How much does it cost?
Travelers are charged $3000 for one adult. Fees for additional occupants are additional adults: $1000 for each child under 18 years of age: $500 for each child under three years of age: no additional cost.
Do you still have a 14-day quarantine if you're vaccinated?
Yes! Rasmus and I were fully vaccinated the second time.
What's the penalty if you leave or break out?
In some parts of Australia, people who have broken quarantine laws face a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment or 50,000 Australian dollars. The penalties vary by state.
The hotels do try to host some educational zoom seminars. But for the most part, it's on you to stay busy. We brought books, games, our Amazon Firestick, Switch, and work projects.
Can you choose your hotel?
No, all international arrivals are assigned hotels at random by the police.
After my first stay, I outlined a packing list that you can use. It's safe to say that we NEVER want to go through this again. We spent 28 days in quarantine in the last year, and that is brutal. We definitely felt cagey and helpless while quarantined.
If we can avoid it in the future we will. With any luck, Australia will phase out these quarantines in the future. I would love for my family to be able to visit us. Right now, only Aussie citizens and immediate family members are allowed into Australia.
We are glad to be through the woods! We head to Tasmania next to wait out the border closures in New Zealand.
If you have any questions about the quarantine process don't hesitate to comment below.