(TheRedWire.com) – Despite pushback from the Australian federal government, officials in Queensland are pushing forward with a COVID-19 quarantine hotel designed to serve the region. The news comes as the government recorded only two new positive cases on Thursday, August 26. Both tests occurred in hotel quarantine. So, is the Australian government being extremely authoritarian by building hotel quarantine centers?
Quarantine facilities are part of Australia’s draconian system to control COVID-19. Australian authorities require travelers entering the country to quarantine for 14 days. Advocates of the program argue the new regional hotels would solve serious problems with what some say are horrific facilities.
— Belinda Sanders (@BelindaJSanders) August 26, 2021
A new quarantine hotel under construction near the Wellcamp airport will house 500 beds by the end of 2020 and 1,000 by March 2022. The state government is financing the project under a commercial-in-confidence agreement with the family who owns the land. Australian authorities already signed a one-year lease with the option to extend the contract by two or three years.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said current quarantine facilities could not contain the Delta strain, and the regional quarantine hotel would boost Queensland’s defense against the COVID-19 variant. Deputy Premier Steven Miles added it’s another tool in the government’s arsenal against the virus, hopefully preventing future shutdowns. Australia implemented one of the tightest locked downs in the world over the last 18 months.
In June, Prime Minister Scott Morrison expressed concerns about the proposed quarantine facilities’ access to both commercial airports and tertiary hospitals and said the site didn’t meet the criteria for federal funding for those reasons.
The federal government suggested an alternate site near the Brisbane airport which would satisfy requirements. Nonetheless, the federal government won’t stand in the way of the Wellcamp quarantine hotel.
The effectiveness of the program remains to be seen but is reminiscent of earlier darker times in Australian history.
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