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Life Inside Australia’s Isolation: Traveler Returning From Bali Describes Tough Conditions

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After arriving in Australia from Bali, Tia Nyirongo has been forced into the government’s new state run 14-day quarantine to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

For Nyirongo, who has food allergies and a restricted diet, the first 24 hours of quarantine proved to be challenging. After being served a small portion of shellfish for dinner, she called down to ask for a meal she that she wasn’t allergic to. What ended up arriving shortly after was a few crackers, a bun and some cheese.

DInner in australia quarantine
Tia Nyirongo first dinner inside Australia’s state run quarantine

“How on earth is this considered a meal (dinner) for people in mandatory government quarantine? Am I secretly at a fat camp and they’re trying to starve me into a size dead?”

In an exclusive interview with The Bali Sun, Nyirongo explained the strict rules and less than ideal living conditions she will be forced to endure for the next 14 days. 

“We were met by police as soon as we landed in Perth. There were police all over the airport and health screenings were done by people in full hazmat suits- temp taken, a few questions asked and then quarantine was explained.”

“We were all crammed into one city bus, so packed most of us couldn’t sit down and when someone asked police about the 2 metre distancing rule, he shrugged. A bit disappointing considering the current situation.”

Once the bus finally arrived, things didn’t seem so bad as Nyirongo was surprised to find out she would be staying a the fancy Duxton Hotel in Perth.

But once inside her room, she quickly realized this wasn’t going to be a vacation. 

For 14 days, Nyirongo and all travelers arriving from abroad in Australia, will not be allowed outside of their hotel room or be able to get any fresh air

duxton hotel room state quarantine australia
Nyirongo room at the Duxton Hotel in Perth where she will spend the next 14 days in Australia’s new state run quarantine for travelers who return from abroad

“There is a $50,000 fine if you’re found breaking the terms of quarantine. I open my door sometimes to say hi to the guards and police or to show friends on video chat who is guarding us because people are curious,” Nyirongo told The Bali Sun

The next morning breakfast wasn’t any better as Nyirongo was delivered a croissant and 6 cubes of melon. 

breakfast inside australia quarantine
Nyirongo recieved 6 squares of melon and a croissant for breakfast on her first day of quarantine

Initially Nyirongo was explicitly told twice that food deliveries were not allowed and went against the department of health’s policies for the quarantine. 

After mutliple compaints started surfacing on social media, she asked the doctor (who checks on quarantine patients twice a day) about the food situation and was then told she was now permitted to order food delivery from companies such as Uber Eats and get grocery deliveries from family. 

To Nyirongo’s relief, the government’s state run quarantine is also providing internet to patients so they’re able to stream tv shows and movies on their television. 

state run quarantine
The state run hotel quarantine is providing free movie channels and internet for patients

Nyirongo was grateful that she isn’t a drinker or smoker as all alcohol and smoking is banned for the duration of the quarantine as per the department of health.

Nyirongo says she expects things to get better as she is part of the first group in Western Australia to go through the quarantine.

“This is totally unprecedented so there are a lot of things they need to work on like the food, an option for fresh linen change or room cleaning  and the staff all need to be briefed on what is and isn’t allowed”

“There are some really wonderful things they’re doing. I am pro lockdown. I believe the whole world needs a total 3 week lockdown, shut it all the way down! And this would give the world a fighting chance at starving the disease.”

“I am incredibly proud of the Australian government for doing what was best for the community and putting this quarantine in place.”

“We get twice daily welfare checks where a healthcare worker comes around to see how everyone is doing. He heard all the food complaints and took action immediately to allow outside food to be brought in.
The hotel staff are incredibly kind and are trying their best to be accommodating and helpful. ”

Tia Nyirongo

In order to keep busy for the next 14 days, Nyirongo says she will be working on her business, taking virtual dance classes, working out and talking with family over video calls so she doesn’t get lonely.

Nyirongo will be doing a live video journal each day from Quarantine on her Instagram

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