High security as international arrivals to Melbourne taken to Crown for quarantine

Passengers wearing masks and latex gloves filed slowly off the red Skybuses on Sunday morning, and were shepherded one by one into the Crown Promenade.

A heavy police and security presence flanked the hotel’s entryway and blocked surrounding footpaths.

Victorian residents returning from overseas are being bussed from the airport to the Crown Promenade hotel in Southbank where they will spend 14 days of forced isolation in a bid to flatten the curve of cases of Covid19 in Victoria. Credit:Penny Stephens

The process was almost what you’d expect for a group of weary travellers shuttled from Melbourne airport – after stepping off the bus with their baggage in tow, check-in procedures began at the hotel’s front desk, with gloved staff taking details and distributing room keys.

Friends and family who had been split up across the buses reunited in the doorway, with the process of offloading each bus with each traveller kept at a distance taking around ten minutes.

Up to 1500 travellers are expected to return to Victoria on Sunday to begin their mandatory 14-day hotel lockdown.

Those who break the quarantine face an on-the-spot fine of $1652.

Victoria Police will enforce the quarantine, supported by Australian Defence Force soldiers.

Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday the state's hotel industry had offered a combined 26,000 beds, with about 5000 ready to go when the mandatory quarantine period came into effect at midnight on Sunday.

Accommodation giant Quest has offered all of its 140 hotels across the nation for Australians undergoing mandatory two-week isolation, while turning one of its buildings into a makeshift "health facility" for people suffering with COVID-19.

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