Stamford Plaza Melbourne says it now has a clean bill of health, with all staff testing negative to COVID-19 testing following a recent outbreak among quarantined guests which has been traced back to a third-party security worker not employed directly by the hotel.
The result comes as ten suburbs in and around Melbourne prepare to return to more restrictive lockdown in an effort to curtail a recent escalation in the Coronavirus pandemic which has flared up in the state.
At the same time, the Victorian Government will begin an inquiry into how the virus managed to regather momentum around the city, which will last for eight to ten weeks. Part of this process will see the state’s hotel quarantine structure reviewed and reset under the guidance and supervision of the Victorian Prisons Department.
As part of the reset, international flights bound for Melbourne will be diverted to other cities for at least the next two weeks, with no further arrivals from overseas permitted to enter the state. Those currently in lockdown will be able to complete their enforced stay and return to their homes and communities.
Through genomic sequence testing, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews identified Stamford Plaza Melbourne as one of two city hotels being utilised for the quarantine program at which there had been a localised outbreak of Coronavirus.
In a statement released on June 24, Stamford Plaza Melbourne (SPM) said: “On or about 13 June 2020, a security contractor, employed through the Victorian Government Contract, tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.
“This security personnel was not under the employ of SPM or its related companies.”
“Following the positive test of the security personnel, the Department had proceeded to test all staff of SPM and imposed precautionary measures on SPM. In line with standards set by the State, a deep clean of SPM has been undertaken.”
“Contrary to media reports, SPM did not breach any social distancing guidelines. We are pleased to confirm that no staff of SPM have tested positive for COVID-19. The negative test results validates our employee training, PPE practice and Health and Safety approach.
“SPM takes the safety and health of all its guests and staff very seriously. It maintains high standards of hygiene, and practices social distancing in accordance with the federal and state guidelines. We continue to work closely with the Department to ensure that our guests and our staff continue to remain safe, including any additional measures required by the Department,” the statement concluded.
Residents in ten Victorian “hot zone” suburbs around Melbourne will now go into local lockdown until “at least 29 July”, the Premier said, with police and the Australian Defence Force mobilised to ensure compliance.
“Too many people are still going out when they’re sick,” the Premier said.
“Too many people are ignoring rules about physical distancing and pretending restrictions don’t matter.
“It shows us that still, somehow, too many people are not taking this seriously.”