Diary of a quarantined traveller

9 replies

New Mint

Member since 24 Feb 2012

Total posts 64

Hi all, I’ve seen a few comments and questions over recent months from people regarding domestic travel and quarantine etc. As I while away the hours in hotel quarantine I’d thought I’d share my experiences for those that are interested or curious!

My situation is I had to relocate from Melbourne to Brisbane for work. Due to the current restrictions in place I had to fly, and of course, quarantine on my arrival into Brisbane (Since Victoria is considered a “Covid Hotspot” by the QLD government). Prior to leaving I’d filled out a Border Declaration pass online via the QLD government website and also got a note from my business partner specifying my need to travel/relocate. I printed these and carried them in my hand luggage.

Melbourne Airport - This was quite the surreal experience as I’d not flown since the pandemic begun in March. I was flying VA and checked in via the VA app. I arrived 90 minutes before my flight which was more than enough time. There were maybe 8 people at check in so it wouldn’t have mattered if I didn’t check in via the app. I was also handed border declaration form via the Virgin check in staff. This however turned out to not be needed as the one I’d done online was sufficient. Next stop, security! The only difference to usual was a new check point in place before security. One lady taking temperatures and asking if I’d had symptoms etc, followed by a gentleman doing a screening on all passengers to see if I was eligible to fly. I’d recommend having your paperwork with you! The gentleman in front of me was refused entry until he could produce documentation! Security was to follow and then a wait in the gate area due to lounge closures. Flight left on time and boarding was pretty much as it used to be with priority given to Business class and Velocity Platinum and Golds.

The flight - Seated in 1A, I had no one next to me but there were 4 other passengers in the Business cabin. From what I could tell, the flight seemed to be about 60% full. As has been noted in other comments, no such thing as a proper meal service anymore and the only offering was a biscuit and instant noodles. I was however afforded the luxury of a red wine! Otherwise an uneventful flight which arrived on time.

Brisbane Airport - First stage of arrival into Brisbane was a greeting by Army officers who requested to see Border Declaration passes before we moved into a queue to be interviewed by Queensland police. The lovely officer who interviewed me had a pre-filled form to which she added my details and requested to see proof of my reason for travel/relocation to Queensland. She checked my ID and added my details to the form and handed me the form. I was also told at this point that I’d be doing my quarantine at the Marriott. From there, it was one final checkpoint where another officer checked my paperwork and handed me some more forms to fill out before I was sent to a “holding area” while we wait for all passengers to be processed.

After all passengers had been processed, we were led and surrounded by Army officers for the “walk of shame” to collect our checked baggage and head to the bus. Before we started the walk one of the army officers yelled “Please step aside we have a group of quarantine passengers!” Which was greeted by silence and lots of stares! Bags had been removed from the luggage belt and were ready to collect. From there we boarded the bus to head to our hotel.

Bus ride and checking in - The bus made 2 stops before it reached the Marriott. Once at the Ibis, and then again at Rydges. When we reached the Marriott both a police officer and the hotel manager gave a speech as to how things were going to work for the next 2 weeks. At check in we handed the forms over that we’d received at the airport from the police. Any allergies for food were noted and check in was completed in less than 5 minutes. Off to my new home for the next 2 weeks!

Quarantine so far - I feel fortunate that I received a nice room on one of the top floors. There’s no balcony or window that opens so those that have problems with that might struggle. There are 3 meals delivered a day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Food is left outside the room in disposable trays and staff knock to advise it’s there. In terms of getting outside, you have to request it, but it’s not immediate. One time I requested early in the morning and waited close to 6 hours before getting out. All in all I have to say the hotel staff and police have been wonderful. All my dietary requirements have been followed and the meals for the most part have been good. You can also order in any food, alcohol or other supplies from outside if required.

Hope this helps!

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 27

Good to hear and appreciate the post.

Curious about that any food/alcohol/supplies from outside bit given the antics about getting medication and even illicit drugs, how is that achieved, alcohol or food or medication? Uber delivery or relative/friend food dropped off at reception? Alcohol limits per day per person? Can you direct where the food should come from?


New Mint

Member since 24 Feb 2012

Total posts 64

Originally Posted by XWu

Good to hear and appreciate the post.

Curious about that any food/alcohol/supplies from outside bit given the antics about getting medication and even illicit drugs, how is that achieved, alcohol or food or medication? Uber delivery or relative/friend food dropped off at reception? Alcohol limits per day per person? Can you direct where the food should come from?



Hi XWhu,

Everything that gets delivered, be it by places like Uber Eats or even relatives dropping stuff off, is checked before it’s sent up to ensure no “contraband” is sent. All deliveries are dropped off at reception where they prioritise hot food and/or drinks. I believe alcohol is limited to 2 bottles per room per day. Since I’ve only had wine delivered I don’t know whether the bottle limit has a sizing limit (e.g. wine bottle versus a beer stubby) and if the limit is different for spirits (you’d hope someone isn’t consuming 2 bottles of spirits a day though!). In terms of where you can order from, you can order from wherever you like. You just have to inform whoever is bringing your goods that you are in quarantine and it needs to be left with reception. As an example, I’ve had orders delivered from Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Dan Murphy’s.

Joshb

Qantas - QFF Platinum

Member since 20 Mar 2012

Total posts 123

Thanks for the insight New Mint, being Melbourne based it's good to know the procedure/experience in the event we need to make our way (home) to QLD.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 27

Hi New Mint

Good details about the delivery stuff.

Not trying to ruin it for anyone, just curious considering the kind of”funny” stuff people tried in other states

Sounds like you can even deliver some fitness stuff if you are sick of internet or working :)

Take care!

Grannular

Member since 31 Mar 2014

Total posts 196

An interesting read. Good to hear alcohol deliveries are accepted. Would make the time a lot easier

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 27

Am guessing you should be at least halfway or more in your quarantine and gaining some solace that you are physically closer to AFL grand final than 5 million victorians

Just wondering about the exact time of your quarantine release, is it exactly 14 x 24 hours from time of arrival to BNE or some “funny” way of calculation by the directing officer in charge, considering the experience of someone quarantine in Singapore being told a different (slightly longer) time/day from what they personally would have considered the time of release by their own calculation?

New Mint

Member since 24 Feb 2012

Total posts 64

Originally Posted by XWu

Am guessing you should be at least halfway or more in your quarantine and gaining some solace that you are physically closer to AFL grand final than 5 million victorians

Just wondering about the exact time of your quarantine release, is it exactly 14 x 24 hours from time of arrival to BNE or some “funny” way of calculation by the directing officer in charge, considering the experience of someone quarantine in Singapore being told a different (slightly longer) time/day from what they personally would have considered the time of release by their own calculation?

Hi XWu,


I am now out of Quarantine and living the good life! Footy finals definitely helped but I was also busy with running my business so for me it wasn't so bad, but can definitely see why some would really struggle with it. I could have gone to the Grand Final but since my team isn't participating I didn't think it'd be fair for me to take a ticket from someone who truly wanted to be there!

In terms of the release, I was released on a Monday and the hotel contacted me the Thursday before to advise my check out time was 11am on the Monday. On the Friday before, I was given my Covid test. Once I passed that, I was given a clearance certificate which confirmed my check out on the Monday. This was delivered to my room prior to check out. I don't know how many people there were to be checked out that day, but I know I arrived with at least 20 other people. The check out is staggered to avoid contact between guests. A policeman escorted me out of the building. Check out was simply the police taking a photo of my clearance certificate, and then I was good to go. All over in about 30 seconds!


Richard W

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 12 Apr 2017

Total posts 18

You said you were let outside. Is this for exercise? I am interested to know how long, where you could go etc.

XWu

Member since 09 May 2020

Total posts 27

@New Mint

Good to heard you are enjoying freedom and running your business!

You better frame that clearance certificate as a momento from 2020!

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