Authorities have requisitioned a number of hotels across the country as part of its strict border controls to control the spread of the coronavirus. Anyone arriving in Australia must complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine in government-run facilities.
Only Australian citizens and permanent residents are allowed to enter the country, with a few exceptions.
National broadcaster ABC has reported that 31 cases have been linked to the Stamford Plaza hotel in Melbourne, while other infections have been linked to the Rydges on Swanston hotel, which is also located in the state capital. CNN contacted the two hotels for comment.
Officials have not confirmed the allegations, and CNN has contacted the Victoria Department of Health and Human Services – which manages quarantines in the state – for comments. In an interview with CNN affiliate Channel Seven on Thursday, Australian Minister of Health Greg Hunt said: “There are two cases where there appear to have been gross violations with significant ramifications . ”
Asked what he did with the allegations that security guards were sleeping with quarantined guests, Hunt replied, “If these statements are true, it would be completely and completely unacceptable.”
“We encourage the Victorian authorities to throw the book at them if any of these people or the companies have behaved inappropriately. ”
Victoria has experienced a new outbreak of coronavirus in recent weeks, prompting authorities to impose a new lockout in parts of Melbourne. The state reported 73 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the number of active cases to 370.
Andrews said that no international traveler would be allowed to enter Melbourne in the next two weeks as the quarantine program is reset under the supervision of the Victoria Correctional Service, which manages state jails.
More than 60,000 Australians have returned home and passed through the hotel quarantine system, Hunt said.