NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian praised the hotel industry for stepping up when needed.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued praise to the state’s hotel and accommodation sector for playing a vital role in flattening the COVID-19 curve through the Federal government’s mandatory quarantine protocol.

Since the mandatory order was imposed in mid-March, hotels and serviced apartments in New South Wales have hosted more than 13,000 people – including more than 1,000 families with children – under the mandatory and government-enforced 14-night quarantine for people returning from overseas. Thousands more have been housed in identical circumstances across other states, a measure the NSW Premier said had been critical to flattening the infection curve.

At the time of writing, more than 3,600 people remain in various stages of quarantine accommodation across NSW hotels and serviced apartments, with many thousands more completing mandatory stays in other Australian cities.

Hilton Sydney was one of the 31 hotels used by the government to quarantine arrivals.

Premier Berejiklian said the decision to quarantine all returning travellers was a key measure which helped NSW flatten the curve.

“We know quarantine hasn’t been easy for anyone involved, which is why I’d like to thank the returning travellers as well as the accommodation industry, 31 participating hotels and their staff for adapting at short notice to help us manage this unprecedented situation.”

The NSW Premier also issued thanks and praise to the Red Cross, NSW Police, Australian Defence Force, transport workers, security guards, caterers, cleaners and all support staff which together coordinated the whole operation, from the supply of personal hygiene products through to onward travel arrangements home.

L-R Dean Long, AAoA and Michael Johnson, TAA

Accommodation Association of Australia CEO, Dean Long, said the industry welcomes the kind words and the government’s recognition of its efforts in flattening the curve.

“Without doubt this is recognition of the hotel staff who have unstintingly been at the frontline, providing the services, responding to guests and working hard to put guest needs first.

“This is at a time when the industry as a whole faces huge uncertainty as hotels respond to an unprecedented decline in demand with occupancies at 10% and below,” he added.

Tourism Accommodation Australia National CEO, Michael Johnson, said he was proud at what the industry had been able to achieve in the fight against COVID-19.

“Like many industries and individuals, hotels and staff were required to adapt quickly and with short notice. It is pleasing to see our industry’s ability to meet the high-level of logistical challenge and with such success.”