As international travellers return to Melbourne, will it be third time lucky for Victoria’s co …

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Sumary of As international travellers return to Melbourne, will it be third time lucky for Victoria’s controversial hotel quarantine system?:

  • A bumpy road On March 28 last year, National Cabinet mandated 14 days of supervised quarantine for international arrivals across the country..
  • In June, a number of Melbourne hotel quarantine staff were infected, seeding a second wave of COVID-19 in Victoria..
  • The Victorian COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry released an interim report on November 6 with 69 recommendations, 49 of which were accepted..
  • The second system incorporated a number of key changes, such as nominating a single government agency — COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria (CQV) — responsible for employing, training and supervising staff..
  • This followed an incident in the Park Royal Hotel when a family with multiple infected members was believed to have spread the virus across the hallway to a woman who opened her door at the same time..
  • In February, soon after this incident at the Park Royal, a cluster of cases linked to the Holiday Inn airport hotel led to a five-day lockdown in Melbourne and no more international flights — again..
  • While the second version of hotel quarantine in Victoria was much more effective than the first, it ultimately failed because it did not adequately protect against airborne transmission..
  • The hotel quarantine systems in every state and territory need to be impermeable barriers between the outside world and Australian communities..
  • Many of our buildings are poorly ventilated, and that adds to COVID risks So what do we know about Victoria revamped system?.
  • The key changes reflect the government recognition that airborne transmission — spread of the virus via tiny particles, or aerosols, that can hang around in the air — has been behind most recent breaches in the quarantine system..
  • This came about from investigation of the cases I mentioned earlier in the Park Royal and Holiday Inn airport hotels..
  • Importantly, hotel ventilation systems have now been modified to ensure that when guests open their doors, the air flows from the corridor into the room, as opposed to air from the room flowing out..
  • James Ross/AAP Personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements have been standardised across all quarantine hotels to bring them in line with Health and Complex Care hotels (those that care for people who test positive to COVID-19, or “hot hotels”)…

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