Quarantined man says food quality and choice worse than jail
A QUEENSLAND man has shared photos of the quality of food being served in a four-star hotel while under quarantine, saying he feels like those in isolation are being treated worse than prisoners.
The man, who asked to remain anonymous, said there was also a disregard for social distancing measures while being escorted from the Brisbane airport to the hotel.
"I have recently arrived in Brisbane from overseas, where I previously completed 70 days of isolation," he said.
"I was informed five minutes before landing of the current situation and the procedures to be followed via a P.A announcement. Upon arrival to Brisbane airport, I was escorted by military and police personnel into a bus, which social distancing was not at all possible.
"They were cramming more people on, not allowing us to keep a safe distance of 1.5 metres."
The man who flew in from Amsterdam via Qatar, said on arrival at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel on Mary Street in Brisbane, a police officer placed himself and several other people into a lift, "also disregarding the social distancing manner."
He said although he understands the reasons for mandatory quarantine, he said the room was basic, with no opening, functional windows or a balcony for fresh air, a concern previously expressed by other returned travellers placed into hotel quarantines around the country.
"I'm happy to quarantine, if it keeps my country safe, that's not a problem," he said.
But it was the meals being delivered, often late, that caused the man the most concern.
"The provided food is less than satisfactory and does not cover the basic nutritional food groups," he said.
"I am at risk of nutritional deficiency.
"The food is the main thing. It drops the morale … if you're not getting decent food."
The quarantined man, who shared photos of three of the meals, said the food was also often up to an hour and a half late and cold.
One photo appears to show some pasta and sauce, with a small amount of broccoli and a snack size chocolate.
Another shows some baked beans, which have seeped through to the other side of the Styrofoam container, some grilled tomato, hash browns and mushrooms, while the third depicts part of a waffle, some syrup or jam, a sliver of bacon and a bottle of juice.
The man said due to the sudden predicament, he was not in a position to order food from outside the hotel.
"On the information package given, it states that food may be ordered to the hotel at my cost," he said.
"Due to the sudden situation, I am not equipped and prepared to make this transaction, making it impossible to gain outside deliveries.
"I am sure many others are in the same situation."
He also expressed concern about the amount of drinking water being provided and said his concerns about the food with the hotel management had fallen had been ignored.
"I understand that mandatory quarantine must take place, however, I do not consent to being treated worse than a prisoner," he said.
A spokeswoman for the Four Points by Sheraton said she understood being placed in quarantine could be difficult for many people, with the health and wellbeing of guests a top priority.
"As part of the preventive exercise for Australian travellers returning home, we are working with the Queensland Government to accommodate incoming travellers who are asymptomatic to COVID-19 and have to be quarantined as a precautionary measure," she said.
"Our guests are provided with three nutritious meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
"Snacks and beverages are also provided with these meals and guests have access to tea, coffee and water in their room.
"The menu rotates on a daily basis and includes fresh whole fruit, vegetables, whole grain fibre, proteins such as chicken, beef or fish.
"We also cater for a large variety of food intolerances, allergies and dietary preferences that our guests advise us of."
The spokeswoman said the chefs are cooking a set menu for quarantined guests for two hotels, with sometimes having to prepare up to 2000 meals a day.
"Guests do guests do have the option to use Uber Eats or Deliveroo as well, though that's at a cost to the guest, if they choose to do that," she said.
Originally published as Quarantined man says food quality and choice worse than prison