Inside the Howard Springs hotel quarantine facility in Darwin 

Professional photographers have been granted access to the Howard Springs facility for the first time, providing a revealing insight into life inside the coronavirus quarantine camp. 

The workers’ camp on the outskirts of Darwin in the Northern Territory was re-purposed for quarantine in October and takes in 650 travellers a fortnight.

Some are interstate arrivals who have come from hotspots but most are international travellers, many of whom took government charter flights from the UK, South Africa and India

Professional photographers have been granted access to the Howard Springs facility for the first time. Pictured: How a room looks when a detainee arrives

Professional photographers have been granted access to the Howard Springs facility for the first time. Pictured: How a room looks when a detainee arrives

The workers camp on the outskirts of Darwin in the Northern Territory was re-purposed for quarantine in October and takes in 650 travellers a fortnight. Pictured: Workers deliver supplies to detainees

The workers camp on the outskirts of Darwin in the Northern Territory was re-purposed for quarantine in October and takes in 650 travellers a fortnight. Pictured: Workers deliver supplies to detainees

Cold breakfast, cold lunch and hot dinner (left) are provided by an on-site catering company - and there's no option for a food delivery from Uber Eats or Deliveroo

Arrival packs are prepared for detainees

Cold breakfast, cold lunch and hot dinner (left) are provided by an on-site catering company – and there’s no option for a food delivery from Uber Eats or Deliveroo. Right: Arrival packs are prepared for detainees

There is a catering company on site which makes all the food for the detainees. Pictured: A woman prepares lunch

There is a catering company on site which makes all the food for the detainees. Pictured: A woman prepares lunch

Detainees are swabbed on arrival and then shown to their rooms which contain a single bed, an en-suite bathroom and a desk with a chair. They are provided towels, some toiletries and enough bed linen to last two weeks. 

Each room also comes with a veranda which allows the detainees to enjoy some fresh air whenever they like, unlike the hotel quarantine system in major cities. 

Cold breakfast, cold lunch and hot dinner are provided by an on-site catering company – and there’s no option for a food delivery from Uber Eats or Deliveroo. 

The two-week stay costs $2,500 per person, or $5,000 for a family. 

Staff are dressed head-to-toe in protective equipment and tested with a nasal swab every day. 

At the end of their shifts they put their PPE in the wash and shower on site before heading home to their families. 

Each room comes with a veranda which allows the detainees to enjoy some fresh air whenever they like, unlike the hotel quarantine system in major cities

Each room comes with a veranda which allows the detainees to enjoy some fresh air whenever they like, unlike the hotel quarantine system in major cities

Detainees are swabbed on arrival and then shown to their rooms which contain a single bed, an en-suite bathroom and a desk with a chair. Pictured: A detainee is swabbed

Detainees are swabbed on arrival and then shown to their rooms which contain a single bed, an en-suite bathroom and a desk with a chair. Pictured: A detainee is swabbed

Staff are dressed head-to-toe in protective equipment and tested with a nasal swab every day. At the end of their shifts they put their PPE in the wash and shower on site before heading home to their families

Staff are dressed head-to-toe in protective equipment and tested with a nasal swab every day. At the end of their shifts they put their PPE in the wash and shower on site before heading home to their families

Staff conduct regular drills to train in putting on personal protective equipment at the quarantine facility near Darwin

Staff conduct regular drills to train in putting on personal protective equipment at the quarantine facility near Darwin

No deliveroo, no alcohol and no deliveries: What are the rules in Howard Springs quarantine?

No cooking equipment to be brought onsite or purchased during stay. This includes microwaves, electric fryers, rice cookers, induction cookers, sandwich presses, toasters, etc.

No alcohol to be brought onsite or purchased during stay, bags may be checked on arrival.

Recreational items such as swimming pools (plastic or inflatable), scooters, skateboards, bikes and roller blades are not permitted to be brought into the facility as they could pose a potential risk to other residents. Please do not bring any of these items with you, they will be removed and securely stored for the duration of your stay.

No visitors are permitted during your stay.

No care packages or personal deliveries to site.

No personal devices or chargers are supplied.

Linen will be provided as a two week supply upon arrival to avoid cross contamination.

Residents are provided with facemasks which must be worn at all times when you leave your allocated room, i.e. when stepping off a verandah that is part of your allocated room, or when anyone approaches to interact or deliver food.

Physical distancing of 1.5 metres must be maintained at all times with any other person in the quarantine facility, except for your spouse, de-facto partner, child or parent.

A medical team will be available on site 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

To keep everyone safe repatriated residents will be required to remain on their balcony. Exercise requirements will be managed by the occupational therapist and the medical team.

All residents in quarantine must agree to regular health checks and monitoring by appropriately qualified health staff in order to support early detection of COVID-19.

Amenities 

Wifi is available however speed and connectivity varies widely, depending on demand.

Bottled water is not provided

Limited tea, coffee, sugar and milk

Disposable cups and hot water jug

Free to air TV and air conditioning

A small pack of essential toiletries will be provided. No meal delivery or delivery services.

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It comes after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thursday that she wants to use Outback mining camps instead of Brisbane hotels to quarantine returned travellers. 

The state will propose the option to National Cabinet after coronavirus spread from a returned traveller in hotel quarantine, infecting a cleaner and two other travellers.

Brisbane’s Grand Chancellor Hotel was evacuated on Wednesday as officials scrambled to work out how the UK super-strain of Covid-19 was transmitted on the seventh floor. 

Police are investigating by checking CCTV and engineers are checking if virus particles travelled in the air conditioning. 

A total of 129 travellers, some of whom were just an hour from being released, have been forced to restart their two-week quarantine in new hotels.  

Some 226 employees who have worked at the hotel since December 30 must also be quarantined and tested.

An additional 250 guests who have left quarantine since December 30 and remain in Queensland are being contacted as they must undergo another 14 days of hotel quarantine. 

Premier Palaszczuk said the evacuation and re-quarantining process has been backed by Health Minster Greg Hunt and the AHPPC.

She said the mining camps she wants to use instead of hotels were comfortable and had balconies or outside space, just like the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine facility.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the idea to use camps could be more dangerous because they are far away from major airports and the virus could transmit in buses on the way there. 

NSW Minister Hazzard rejected the idea of using mining camps in his state.

He said about 3,500 staff worked in the quarantine system and lived in Sydney, and transporting travellers to regional areas was dangerous because the virus could transmit in buses.

Minister Hazzard also said he wants Covid-19 patients to be near major hospitals in case they deteriorate.   

Premier Palaszczuk said the mining camps would be similar to the Northern Territory's Howard Springs quarantine camp (pictured)

Premier Palaszczuk said the mining camps would be similar to the Northern Territory’s Howard Springs quarantine camp (pictured)

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