Two returned travellers have been caught after they escaped hotel quarantines in opposite sides of the country.
In Perth, Jenny Maree D’ubios was part-way through mandatory 14-day quarantine after arriving back in Perth from Spain when she allegedly broke out of the hotel – posting a video about her escape on Facebook.
Ms D’ubios describes herself as an “alternative health practitioner” and had been vocal about her distaste for the quarantine accommodation and even the validity of COVID-19 itself, in numerous social media videos.
On Saturday morning, she allegedly posted a video saying she was going to leave the hotel.
“If they don’t remove me from this hotel today, I am going to be walking out of here,” the ABC reported she said.
“I’m going to be walking down there, I’m going to be telling those security guards if they lay a hand on me, every single one of them will be subpoenaed and charged.”
She was not in a high-risk hotel, which meant police guards were not monitoring travellers.
While she turned herself in to a hospital less than 24 hours after she was reported missing, health and police authorities have been criticised for not issuing a public alert for her until nine hours into the search.
It’s not known if Ms D’ubios returned a negative COVID-19 test, but it has been reported she refused a test on Friday.
Ms D’ubios has been charged with breaching the Emergency Management Act and will appear in court.
Man legs it after NSW return
In Melbourne, a man who was arrested after leaving his hotel quarantine room has gone on radio, saying he shouldn’t have been in quarantine in the first place.
The 24-year-old says he was living in New South Wales for nine months, but remained a Victorian resident. In response to the Northern Beaches outbreak, Victoria on December 21 closed its border to travellers who had been in the ‘red zone’ – Victorian residents were given an extra 24 hours (ahead of NSW residents) to make it into the state and be able to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
Anyone who missed the deadline had to complete the period in a hotel, at their own cost.
The told radio his anxiety began spiralling on day six of his quarantine at the Holiday Inn near Melbourne Airport. He further said he was given confusing and false information about when he was going to be allowed to leave the hotel.
When he went to leave his hotel on Saturday, he said he was greeted by four authorised officers, who calmed him down. He’s since been moved to a complex care facility to receive medical attention while finishing up his quarantine.
He faces a $19,000 fine.