Julia Gillard among passengers on international flights to Adelaide sent to hotel quarantine after Omicron concern


Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard was one of many overseas arrivals sent to quarantine at the hotel in Adelaide despite prior permission to self-isolate at home.

Ms GIllard has now been released after returning a negative test result, but others have not been so lucky, with a passenger stuck in a medi-hotel confused as to why her home quarantine approval l landed there.

ABC spoke to other passengers who found themselves in the same situation.

Professional golfer Wade Ormsby was also caught on his return from Singapore.


Concerns over the Omicron variant saw SA Health double the length of the quarantine for all international arrivals to 14 days at the end of last month, and also tighten testing requirements for interstate travelers this week.

Previously, people were allowed to quarantine themselves at home using the Home Quarantine SA app, so it’s not clear why passengers on these recent flights were quarantined at the hotel. .

The passengers “go adrift”

Dan Coward had traveled to the UK for his mother’s funeral and decided to advance his return flight after the emergence of the Omicron variant.

He completed all of his necessary pre-approval tests and documents before arriving in South Africa via Doha on the same flight as Ms Gillard.

He is fully vaccinated and was ready to quarantine at home – but that quickly changed.

“There was an announcement on the plane that we were all going to spend 14 days in quarantine, which was a bit strange,” Mr. Coward said from the Peppers medi-hotel in Adelaide.

Dan Coward, who is in quarantine at the hotel in Adelaide after an international flight.(Provided)

“Then we stood in line at passport control and that’s when someone officially told us that we were going straight to quarantine at the hotel, which was really confusing for a lot of people who had been approved for home quarantine.

“It was disappointing and it was a bit confusing.”

He said the most formal communication he had received since arriving at the hotel was from his home quarantine app, which he launched in anticipation of being home.

“They called me to ask me why I was not at the place I had planned and I explained that I was in quarantine at the hotel, which was a surprise for them”, a he declared.

“I just got another text from them asking them why I missed my test date today and it was because I did one here in quarantine at the hotel and I’m not in able to go to a test center and download those results. “

A tall building on a city street with cars walking past
The Peppers Waymouth Hotel in Adelaide’s CBD.(ABC News: Brant Cumming)

Mr Coward said a hotel nurse told him there was “an error at the airport” and those who were approved were supposed to be allowed to self-quarantine at home.

He had hoped after returning a negative test result on his first night in quarantine at the hotel that his stay there would be short-lived, but he remained confined to his room.

“It feels like we’ve all been sort of adrift,” he said.

“The word chaos was used when I called people on the other end of the phone. It is clearly not the fault of the nurses downstairs, they are doing their best in the situation but… the solution to go. from here is still obviously very fuzzy. “

SA Health has been contacted for comment.

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