Inside look into Darwin’s hotel quarantine camp with outdoor time allowed and a swimming pool

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Weekly visits to the swimming pool, balcony hangouts and unrestricted walks are just some of the luxuries Australians quarantining in the Northern Territory enjoy.

The Howard Springs facility just south of Darwin, is setup like a camp and is split into domestic and international arrivals, with guests housed in demountable cabins.

Those carrying out their two-week stay have to fork out $2,500 for their rooms – which include a single bed, TV, air conditioning, a fridge, temperamental Wi-Fi and a shared balcony.

It’s a life of freedom for those isolating when compared to others in mandatory quarantine around Australia, with most locked away in hotel rooms with no social interaction or time allowed outdoors.

The Manigurr-ma Village in Howard Springs is split into two sides with international and domestic arrivals quarantining in demountable cabins

The Manigurr-ma Village in Howard Springs is split into two sides with international and domestic arrivals quarantining in demountable cabins

Many in isolation spend their time sunbaking outside during the sweltering hot 36C days

Many in isolation spend their time sunbaking outside during the sweltering hot 36C days

Guests are allowed to swim in the facility's pool once a week for 45 minutes

Guests are allowed to swim in the facility’s pool once a week for 45 minutes

The Manigurr-ma Village in Howard Springs welcomed 400 international arrivals this week, six being confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, there were 430 new domestic arrivals with no cases recorded since the program began.

More than 5,000 people have quarantined in the Top End since July, over 3,000 flocking in from coronavirus-riddled Victoria.

Each day guests at the village are given two 20-minute periods to exercise outside, however these times are not policed and those quarantining are able to wander around at their leisure, the Herald Sun reported. 

There’s also no restrictions to how long you can stay on your balcony for, with guests making new friends with their neighbours and enjoying some sunbathing outside.

Masks are mandatory when outdoors and once a week guests are able to swim in the camp’s pool for 45 minutes – a much needed cool down from the sweltering hot 36C days.

Guests at the Howard Springs facility are seen playing instruments on their balconies while their neighbours watch on while wearing masks

Guests at the Howard Springs facility are seen playing instruments on their balconies while their neighbours watch on while wearing masks

One person quarantining at the NT site shared photos of his breakfast meals which included cereal, fruit, sausages and bread rolls

One person quarantining at the NT site shared photos of his breakfast meals which included cereal, fruit, sausages and bread rolls

Dinners ranged from curries to meat and vegetables along with a desert and a bread roll

Dinners ranged from curries to meat and vegetables along with a desert and a bread roll

Guests rooms consist of a single bed, TV, bar fridge, air conditioner and all share a balcony with two other cabins

Guests rooms consist of a single bed, TV, bar fridge, air conditioner and all share a balcony with two other cabins

Alcohol is banned but guests can order groceries to their room if they don’t want the three meals offered daily, which usually consist of sausages, eggs and mashed potatoes.

Snakes and mosquitoes also frequent the village, which was originally designed for FIFO workers.

Nurses in head-to-toe PPE gear arrive at guests’ doors each morning to check in and take their temperatures. COVID-19 tests are taken on day two and 11.

The staff are also limited to either domestic or international arrivals so there’s no risk of spreading the virus.

While domestic arrivals are often seen wandering around together or sitting on their balconies, those arriving from overseas are given tougher restrictions.

Officers from NT Police patrol the Manigurr-ma Village while staff from Wilson Security keep an eye on the perimeter.

Two men quarantining at the Manigurr-Ma Village in Howard Springs hang outside together while keeping socially distant

Two men quarantining at the Manigurr-Ma Village in Howard Springs hang outside together while keeping socially distant

Another guest enjoys a meal on his balcony. Guests are able to order groceries to their rooms

Another guest enjoys a meal on his balcony. Guests are able to order groceries to their rooms

Last month a party kicked off at the site with footage being shared online leading to a police investigation.

Video captured a group of 20 people dancing and mingling, despite being obliged to stay in their rooms, with only some people taking the precaution of face masks.

People appeared to be clustered less than 1.5 metres apart, in a flagrant breach of social distancing requirements.

Other photos show guests playing instruments and singing while their neighbours watch on from next door.

The paths are covered in chalk drawn on by children while some guests are up at the crack of dawn to go for a run in time to escape the scorching heat. 

Last month a party kicked off at the site with footage being shared online leading to a police investigation

Last month a party kicked off at the site with footage being shared online leading to a police investigation 

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