Covid 19: Melbourne guards’ poor training blamed for outbreak

Poorly trained security guards who became overwhelmed by hysterical guests may have been responsible for how COVID-19 escaped into the wider community.

An independent inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine system is expected to hear evidence this week that guests were begging, banging on walls and even attempting to bribe security guards to let them out for fresh air.

A guest from the Rydges Hotel, which was one of the first to take quarantine travellers, told The Australian “people were going absolutely nuts” on his floor of the hotel, saying they were “asking for Valium” and “begging to be let out and running for the doors”.

He said guards seem ill-equipped to handle the situation. “They were being told no, but the guards had no real authority … they gave the impression they could be talked around. And guests were going up to the security guards, begging and offering money to be let out. It was insane.”

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