There’s been some question marks about whether or not we should be using regional hotel facilities for our hotel quarantine system.
I just want to emphasise that this has been looked at very closely by the New South Wales public health team over the full duration of this particular pandemic which is almost, for us, a year ago it commenced. It was 25 January we had our first four cases.
And on any one day, in our hotel quarantine system, we have about 3,500 staff … in our hotel – health hotels, our special health accommodation, we have 650 people in that situation. That’s … slightly bigger than the Royal North Shore hospital.
There’s strong views held in our public health team it makes sense to continue to have the hotel quarantine arrangements we currently have.
One of the other very serious concerns that public health would have, if they were moved into the regions, first of all, there are challenges around the transportation of people who have come from overseas, with the possible virus from overseas, being in a bus for an hour or two, to whichever region may be considered.
But we simply do not believe, the public health advice here in New South Wales, we don’t believe there would be an advantage, in fact, distinct disadvantages to consider moving our public health hotels out of the Sydney regional area.
There’s also another critical factor, and that’s if we do get people who deteriorate, we want them to be able to transferred to a major tertiary hospital as quickly as possible. In other words, one that has the preeminent specialists available to look after the people who may end up with Covid.