‘Wild ride’: Travellers get early hotel quarantine release


Elated returned travellers are leaving The Westin in Brisbane City, after they were initially advised they could spend up to 28 days in hotel quarantine as authorities worked to contain the Hotel Grand Chancellor COVID-19 cluster.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young revealed this morning those caught by the Hotel Grand Chancellor cluster who have already served a fortnight in quarantine but initially expected to restart their quarantine period would be released today.

Dozens of family members have gather outside The Westin while police facilitate people to leave hotel quarantine one at a time.

The Westin Hotel in Brisbane. Picture: Richard Walker
The Westin Hotel in Brisbane. Picture: Richard Walker

As many as 420 people associated with the Hotel Grand Chancellor - including staff, returned travellers and close contacts - are expected to leave quarantine tonight, permitting they met health criteria, a Queensland Health spokesman said.

Geoff Crooks said he and his wife were "very, very happy" when they received a letter under their door at 4.30pm confirming they would be allowed to leave hotel quarantine tonight.

"It's been a pretty wild ride emotionally, I'm not really an emotional person but it's just the ups and downs of the past two or three days," he said.

"We're pretty excited I can tell you, our girls are a bit emotional all too."

Their daughters Jasi and Elyssa Crooks were eagerly waiting outside The Westin to pick up their parents and said they had a party with champagne, a welcome home banner and BBQ waiting at home.

A woman in quarantine at The Westin in Brisbane on Friday. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass
A woman in quarantine at The Westin in Brisbane on Friday. Picture: NewsWire / John Gass

Mr Crooks said he was never upset about the additional quarantine time, only about the conditions of their room at their new accommodation, which did not include a balcony and was smaller than their Hotel Grand Chancellor room.

"I feel for the people who are still in here, and it's not about the quarantine, it's never been about that … It's been about the conditions we're in, this is a beautiful room but it's designed for a night," he said.

"Everybody on this quarantine site hasn't got a problem with the quarantine, it's just about making it a bit more comfortable, particularly if they want you to do a double quarantine, don't put them in a smaller room.

"I don't get why they're just not self-contained units, get it right."

Originally published as 'Wild ride': Returned travellers released from quarantine early