‘Inhumane’: Mum lashes hotel quarantine
An Australian mum in quarantine with her partner and two children has branded the conditions at their Sydney hotel "inhumane".
Aimee Roberts flew back home to Australia on Sunday with her Irish husband and two boys, aged seven and two.
Upon arrival the family were moved to the Park Royal in Darling Harbour to see out their 14-day isolation to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
But the mum claims living conditions at the hotel are appalling, writing that the food, their cramped room and the lack of provisions are "just horrendous" in a lengthy Facebook.
"There are four of us in the room, there are three plates and three sets of cutlery," Ms Roberts wrote, explaining they are required to wash them in the bathroom sink and dry them with our towels and re-use them for their entire stay.
"Food is delivered in plastic containers but we do not have anywhere to eat our food. Our sons have to sit on the floor or bed, my partner and I sit on a chair with the food on our laps."
She went on to say they have "no say" in what or when they are served, claiming they only find out it is meal time when they hear a knock at their door.
"We are to wait until the hotel staff are gone and then retrieve the food, which is in plastic containers," Ms Roberts described.
"If we don't hear the knock, our food will sit there for however long going cold."
She said the biggest issue for the family was feeding their two-year-old, who Ms Roberts described as a "fussy toddler" who won't eat what is being offered.
"He refused to eat dinner last night as it was Chicken Teriyaki. He is a toddler who is fussy. We have no other options. We have no snacks, no food of any sort available to us or located in our room. No fruit, biscuits etc," she wrote.
"Our toddler still drinks milk bottles, we have no milk available to us. I had to call reception three times last night for milk. We finally got milk at midnight which was just left at our door. That milk is now gone. I have nothing to give our two-year-old."
The worried mum claimed she tried to get around it by ordering room service, but this was refused, and she said she was unable to order essentials from Coles or Woolworths in compliance with Government restrictions.
"We are more than happy to cover costs of any food we have... We just want to be able to feed our children.. Just access to food, snacks, basic essentials is all we are asking," she wrote.
"People seem to think we are ungrateful... we just want to be able to feed the kids."
Ms Roberts finished by saying: "We are being treated like animals who have done the wrong thing. All we did was return to our home country.
"I understand precautions need to be taken but this is just inhumane."
Her partner Jamie Cullinan shared a photo of the room on Instagram showing it has two double beds and a desk area.
Mr Cullinan shared another photo on Facebook from inside an empty-looking plane, revealing it had less than 50 people on it.
The family had travelled from Dungarvan, a rural town in Ireland, to Dublin, then onto Doha before arriving into Sydney during their journey home.
"Currently waiting on the army but we are here safe and sound," Mr Cullinan wrote on March 29 at 7.30pm.
"Prob around 50 people on the flight .. now to try survive two weeks in a room with Aimee and the kids. All this might be in vain if we end up killing each other in a few days," he said, adding multiple laughing face emojis.
Park Royal Hotel said it had "offered its facilities" to the Government after announcing its Coronavirus quarantine rules and would continue to work with authorities to accommodate Australians returning from overseas as part of the nationwide effort to ensure the continued safety of all Australians.
"With more than two-thirds of Australia's coronavirus cases so far being transmitted from returning travellers and a significant proportion of the other cases also transmitted by returned travellers, it has never been more crucial to support the government and other world cities, in endeavouring to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases," a spokesperson for the hotel told news.com.au
"PARKROYAL Darling Harbour will continue to take all directions from, and work alongside, the NSW Government and Law Enforcement Authorities to ensure that all returning Australians staying in our facilities will be looked after in the best possible way, with their wellbeing and safety being the priority."
Ms Roberts isn't the only person in the Government-enforced hotel quarantine complaining about conditions.
Australian model Lara Worthington revealed on Twitter yesterday her mother Sharon Bingle was being held in "unacceptable" conditions in a hotel in Newtown after arriving back to Australia from overseas.
"I don't think this looks like a 5 star accommodation to me," she wrote on Twitter alongside four images of the The Urban Newtown hotel in Sydney.
"The next 14 days here for my 63-year-old mum who is showing heavy symptoms. This is unacceptable."
Australian celebrity chef and TV host Lyndey Milan has also lashed out at Sydney's Hilton hotel over the service and "carb loading" food offered during her quarantine stay.
Milan, who recently jetted back to Australia from London, was put into quarantine at the five-star hotel vented her frustration on Instagram after revealing she had to wait until 9.30pm to receive dinner.
"No one is being fed and they don't answer the phone and it's 8.30pm," Milan says on a video recording while filming the hotel hallway.
Milan said while she didn't expect "fine dining", she hoped for something more than "stodgy rice and hard fried tofu".
"I don't expect fine dining but it is all carb loading and we don't get to do any exercise," she replied to a comment on social media, questioning the food she'd received.
"I am feeling sluggish and awful."
Since the weekend, thousands of Australians returning to airports around the country are being transported by police and military to hotels that will be their homes for the next two weeks during a forced quarantine to contain the spread of coronavirus.
About 20,000 returning travellers are expected to arrive in the next week alone.
Originally published as 'Inhumane': Mum lashes hotel quarantine