The manager of a Sydney hotel being used to house quarantined travellers has called on his reluctant guests to show his staff some respect.
Hundreds of Australians who returned home after midnight on Saturday are in the early stages of a compulsory fortnight’s quarantine in capital city hotels.
Some of the returning travellers forced into quarantine have complained of prison-like conditions and inadequate supplies.
Clearly under some pressure from the weight of requests made by guests, the manager of Sydney’s Wentworth Avenue Travelodge issued an announcement urging them to show consideration to hotel staff during their quarantine.
“We are not expecting to be sued, we do not want to be sworn at – we are coming to hear your frustrations, but please have some respect,” he said in his announcement issued on Wednesday and quoted by the AAP.
The manager also declared exercise bikes and treadmills would soon be available for hire, while a user-pays laundry system would be in place by Friday.
“We are not prison wardens,” he told his guests.
Quarantined travellers have been vocal in their complaints of their hotel accommodation.
Cruise ship passenger Amber Hammond, who is staying at the luxury Swissotel Hotel in the Sydney CBD, told SBS the conditions inside were “abysmal”, and she and fellow passengers were being treated like criminals.
“We are not allowed out of our rooms, even with masks and keeping a 1.5-metre distance,” she said this week.
“We are not allowed to open our doors except to get food. We are not allowed to get any fresh air and the windows do not open.”
Georgina Sindel, staying at the Wentworth Avenue Travelodge, told AAP she missed fresh air, and said she couldn’t help but feel like she was headed for prison after being placed on a bus by the military at Sydney Airport first thing on Tuesday morning.
“And then with the police escorting us all to our room here, it felt very prison-like,” the 27-year-old consultant said.
“I’ve had my ups and downs – there have been a few meltdowns on the phone to my parents.
“But if we stay positive, it’s much easier to get through. I’ll keep exercising, working and try to stick to a schedule.”
Musicians Eddie Boyd, 28, and Annie Collis, 24, whose move to London was almost immediately turned upside down by the coronavirus, arrived back in Australia on Sunday morning.
Ms Collis, who is being housed at the Hyatt Regency, also in Sydney’s CBD, said a lack of information was a major concern.
The phone number for a counselling service was slipped under their door on Tuesday night but little else has been communicated.
“They just put us in here and closed the door,” Ms Collis said.
“The government doesn’t seem to be worried much about your mental and physical health in terms of being a normal person in this process.”
But Mr Boyd said they remained in high spirits, binge-watching Netflix, playing guitar, and brushing up on their French and Italian using Duolingo.
The bandmates also shared a laugh at their occasionally comical situation: For a few nights, they had to wash their dishes with face soap in the bathroom sink.
“I think we’re pretty lucky actually,” Mr Boyd said.
“I’d give it four stars – if we had a window that we could open, that would make it the prime quarantine hotel.”
Ms Collis agreed.
“We’re glad to be back in Australia and that’s overruling everything else,” she said.
“It looked pretty ominous in London and we thought we should just get out as soon as possible.
“So we’re just feeling grateful that we got back and that we have somewhere to go.”