Mother and baby taken to medi-hotel, despite SA Health approval for home quarantine

A new mother and baby have been reunited in a medi-hotel, despite a home quarantine permit after landing in Adelaide, as questions mount over the systems in place for travelers returning to South Africa.

It follows that former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was sent to a medical hotel in Adelaide despite prior approvals.

Georgina Brill told the ABC that she and her seven-week-old baby were allowed to quarantine themselves at home. However, when she arrived at Adelaide Airport from Singapore, she was taken to a medical hotel.

She and her young daughter then underwent COVID tests.

“I was slightly horrified when they got to my hotel room and wanted to do a PCR test for a seven week old baby,” she said.

“I filmed it because I was really afraid that something [would] happen to him. But it was pretty quick. They didn’t go too far, but it was so unnecessary.

“You would just think in common sense that, provided the parent tests negative, the baby is likely to test negative as well.”

Georgina Brill and her daughter Ava were eventually released from hotel quarantine to pursue her at their family home in Adelaide.(Provided: Georgina Brill)

Ms Brill said the complete lack of information from authorities on why she was being taken to a medical hotel and how long she would be staying only added to her stress.

She also had difficulty sterilizing the bottles after arriving at the hotel.

“There was no stove. It was literally a hotel room with this fridge, kettle and minibar,” Ms. Brill said.

“So I had to boil the kettle and try to sterilize these bottles somehow – there was no laundry detergent, there were no real utensils to clean the bottles. bottles It was actually… a nightmare.

A baby sleeps in her mother's arms during a flight with her bottle on a ledge behind her.
Ava Brill sleeping in her mother’s arms on her way to Adelaide from Singapore.(Provided: Georgina Brill)

“It just created more anxiety and stress in me which then transferred to the newborn and it was really not a pleasant experience overall.”

She was tested last night and said her results were sped up by SA Health due to the care of a newborn baby and she was able to leave the medi-hotel.

Georgina Brill’s mother, Kaye, had prepared to leave her home to allow her daughter to self-quarantine.

She said the whole experience had been extremely stressful.

A baby sleeps in an airplane capsule
Seven-week-old Ava Brill sleeps on a Singapore-Adelaide flight on December 6, 2021.(Provided: Georgina Brill)

“The cost, even to taxpayers, of wasting effort, energy, dollars today in this ridiculous exercise in hotel management was deplorable and in fact I don’t know if Mr. Marshall’s government will get my money. vote, ”she said.

“The cranky people at SA Health really need to think about what they’re doing to the community as a whole.”

“No one could say what will happen next”

The ABC has spoken to several people still in quarantine at the hotel, despite the prior approval of the home quarantine and the return of a negative result.

Peter Rowland has been at the Peppers Medi-Hotel since arriving from Doha on Saturday afternoon.

He had attended a conference in Chicago for his Tonsley-based x-ray technology company.

Mr Rowland said he was pre-approved to complete his quarantine at his home in the Adelaide Hills.

“All of that apparently changed while we were in the air,” he said.

“Without anyone being able to explain what was going on, we were taken on a bus and to a medi-hotel.”

On Sunday, he tested negative for COVID-19, but remains at the hotel with no indication of when he will be able to leave.

“No one has been able to say what will happen next,” he said.

“Every day I have been told that you should be going home tomorrow to complete the Home Quarantine, we will call you to let you know, but the phone never rings.”

Mr Rowland said the sudden change in rules and the unpredictability of border and quarantine requirements are extremely damaging for businesses like his.

“It really hurts the business,” he said.

“It’s the lack of predictability that’s really hard to deal with, you have to be able to plan and you have to be able to travel.

“Our whole business’s livelihood is international, we export almost everything we manufacture, so these international relationships are essential.”

SA Health says Omicron is impacting border rules

In a statement, SA Health said that until November 27, international arrivals pre-approved for home quarantine could travel directly from the airport to their homes.

“With the WHO statement regarding Omicron, with great caution, international arrivals were taken to a medical hotel, for a short time to allow assessment of the adequacy of the home quarantine arrangement and for ensure test compliance, “said a spokesperson.

“Processes at the airport are being revised to help approved travelers in home quarantine safely return home directly, as well as to provide flight disembarkation testing.”

The ABC has received letters sent to travelers from SA Health granting home quarantine approval after November 27.

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