South Australia’s opposition calls for end to hotel quarantine as state exits lockdown

South Australia's opposition calls for end to hotel quarantine as state exits lockdown

South Australia’s opposition leader has called for a halt on putting returned travellers in hotel quarantine until a safer system can be put in place, as the state emerged from its temporary lockdown on Sunday.

Labor opposition leader Peter Malinauskas wrote to premier Steven Marshall on Sunday and said the outbreak from hotel quarantine in Adelaide and the second wave experienced in Victoria as a result of its hotel quarantine issues showed that putting returned travellers in CBD hotels “with subcontracted private security simply does not work”.

“The only way to alleviate this risk is to immediately end the international arrival and medi-hotel system in its current format, until a safer solution is found,” he said.

Malinauskas suggested in a Facebook post that there could be purpose-built facilities outside the CBD staffed by a non-casual workforce.

Marshall said on Sunday the suggestion would not work, and was a break in bipartisanship.

“It makes no sense whatsoever,” he said. “We don’t have 1,200 rooms in Woomera or Christmas Island to pop up with a quarantine hotel let alone the staff, let alone building the hospital alongside it.”

The Parafield outbreak from the Peppers medi-hotel still stands at 26 cases. The state recorded just one new case overnight – a woman in her 20s in a medi-hotel who returned to South Australia from overseas before the state stopped accepting returned travellers.

The lockdown ended in South Australia at midnight on Sunday, three days earlier than planned, after a 36-year-old kitchen worker at the Stamford medi-hotel who initially said he had contracted the virus while picking up a pizza at an Adelaide pizza bar later admitted to working in the kitchen alongside an infected security guard from the Peppers hotel.…

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