An NRL star has vented his fury and publicly pleaded for help after he was ordered into hotel quarantine in Victoria, which he compared to as similar to prison conditions.
Canberra Raiders halfback George Williams and his partner Charlotte Lewis are holed up in a Melbourne hotel for 14 days isolation after flying in from the nation’s capital on Monday.
The couple had no idea until they arrived in Melbourne of their fate after they spent two days in Batemans Bay on the New South Wales south coast last week.
Victoria has closed its borders to NSW as both states battle fresh coronavirus outbreaks.
NRL star George Williams and his partner Charlotte Lewis spent two days in Batemans Bay last week, which has landed them in hotel quarantine after flying to Melbourne on Monday. They’re pictured enjoying a night at the fair in Batemans Bay last week
The couple had gone on holiday to Batemans Bay from December 28 to December 30, before travelling to the ACT with the intention of flying back to Melbourne on January 3.
The England-born NRL star, 26, explained the couple checked several times with the Canberra airport beforehand and were informed they were fine to fly back to Victoria.
He took to social media to express his outrage at the situation, which he urged everyone to share.
Williams also uploaded photos of his detention notice and distraught partner in distress while sitting on her luggage.
‘As we landed in Victoria, the rules had now changed literally within an hour of leaving so we had to go straight into mandatory hotel quarantine for two weeks,’ Williams posted.
‘The detention notice states interstate hot or red zone arrivals, which Batemans Bay or ACT is neither so that’s false.
‘This is something we and other ACT travellers was not aware of and there are many in the same situation as on the same Virgin Australia flight who can’t understand this at all, again the airline at Canberra Airport that told us we was safe to travel without any restrictions.’
The state closed its borders to NSW on New Year’s Eve as the state battled a fresh Covid outbreak, with any travellers returning after 11.59pm on January 1 required to enter hotel quarantine.
The NRL star and his partner (pictured) were unaware they would have to go into hotel quarantine when they arrived in Melbourne on Monday
George Williams and his partner Charlotte (pictured on Christmas Day) have been forced into quarantine
Williams also shared an insight into their first night of hotel quarantine, where he described the conditions as similar to prison.
‘The rooms are very small with a window you cannot open meaning fresh air is unavailable to us for two weeks,’ he posted.
‘We are not even allowed to leave the room?! Sorry but criminals all get one hour a day fresh air or out of their cell. HOW IS THIS FAIR? This is wrong. Help!’
He ended the lengthy post with the hashtag #freeus.
ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has offered to personally intervene in the matter, the Canberra Times reported.
More than 170 NSW returned travellers have been detained in Victorian hotel quarantine since NSW was declared as a red zone.
The star pictured in action for the Canberra Raiders in July 2020 as they played their round nine NRL match with Melbourne Storm
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
- Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan.
- Victoria – A hard border has been put up, with the entire state of NSW declared a red zone. If people cross into Victoria before 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, they must self- isolate until they test negative. If they enter before 11.59pm on New Year’s Day, they must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of test results. If they cross into the state after January 1, they must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
- Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
- South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
- Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.
- ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
- Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.