Police will investigate a breach of hotel quarantine after a man returning from hospital in a taxi visited a convenience store.
Police will investigate a breach of hotel quarantine after a man returning from hospital in a taxi visited a convenience store.

Man visited 7-Eleven on return to quarantine hotel

A COVID-19 quarantine breach has been referred to police for investigation after a man visited a convenience store on the taxi ride back to his hotel following treatment at a hospital emergency department.

The Courier-Mail understands the man began his mandatory 14 days quarantine at the Voco Hotel, in Surfers Paradise, on Boxing Day, after flying in from Dubai.

On January 3, an ambulance was called for a non-COVID-19 related medical issue while the man was still in hotel quarantine and he was taken to the Gold Coast University Hospital's emergency department for treatment.

After being discharged by the hospital, he was put in a taxi for the return trip to his quarantine hotel, and stopped at a 7-Eleven in Ferny Ave, Surfers Paradise - breaching COVID-19 protocols.

Voco Hotel, Surfers Paradise. Photo: Jerad Williams.
Voco Hotel, Surfers Paradise. Photo: Jerad Williams.

"Last night one of the VOCO hotel guests … was discharged from ED GCUH and put in a taxi," an email, obtained by the Courier-Mail, says.

"Unfortunately, on the way he decided to stop at a 711 store.

"I just wanted to let you know as all hotel quarantine guests are to travel to medical appointments/ED via an Ambulance - to the appointment/ED and back to hotel quarantine."

Queensland Health said the Gold Coast Public Health Unit had approved the man's return from hospital to the hotel via a taxi, in accordance "with the relevant quarantine direction in place at the time".

"Proper personal protective equipment was supplied and used," a department spokeswoman said.

"There is an allegation that during the return trip, there may have been a quarantine breach. That has been referred to Queensland Police Service for investigation.

"The guest completed hotel quarantine in early January and tested negative for COVID-19 three times."

The QH spokeswoman said that following the emergence of new, more contagious variants of COVID-19, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young had made it clear all urgent medical-related travel to and from hotel quarantine should be done by the Queensland Ambulance Service.

It is understand the hotel guest and taxi driver were given appropriate instructions not to stop between the hospital and the hotel.

The Courier-Mail also understands the man donned a new mask, sat in the back seat opposite the taxi driver and had the rear window down, as per protocols, when he left the hospital.

Originally published as Man visited Surfers 7-Eleven on return to quarantine hotel



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