Fifo worker shares his stunning isolation villa in Phuket

Does hotel quarantine really have to be so unpleasant? Fifo worker shares his stunning isolation villa in Phuket and asks why Australia can’t do just a little better

  • Ed Thistlewaite, who lives in Singapore, has shared photos in hotel quarantine
  • The Australian recently stayed at the Anatara Resort in Phuket for a work trip
  • His Thailand villa includes an outdoor pool, courtyard, and spacious rooms
  • The expat said it was much better than his experience in isolation in Brisbane
  • He has called for Australia to give returned travellers a choice of where they stay

A fly-in-fly-out worker has shared his stunning isolation villa in Phuket and gourmet meals as he calls for better hotel quarantine conditions in Australia.

Ed Thistlewaite, who lives in Singapore, spent two weeks in isolation at Mercure Brisbane last year when he returned to Australia after his mother suffered a stroke.

He said he was given no choice in hotel selection and ‘being told where you must stay in substandard hotels without balconies or windows’ was a ‘beyond terrible and expensive experience’.

Now, the Australian ex-pat is questioning why his home country’s quarantine system is so unpleasant after recently staying in the luxury Anantara Resort in Thailand on a work trip – for a similar price.

Australian expat Ed Thistlewaite has shared photos of the villa in Phuket (pictured) where he served hotel quarantine during a recent work trip to Thailand

Australian expat Ed Thistlewaite has shared photos of the villa in Phuket (pictured) where he served hotel quarantine during a recent work trip to Thailand

Mr Thistlewaite shared photos of his incredible villa, featuring an outdoor pool, courtyard, and spacious bathroom, in a Facebook group for Australians stuck overseas or in quarantine.

‘Does quarantine need to be the way it is in Australia. Answer = No,’ he wrote.

‘[Doing quarantine in Thailand] has been so much less stressful. [It is] mentally and physically much healthier and where humans should be held for 15 days.

‘It is so great to have a choice in hotel selection and not get forced to pay a fortune for an old overnight hotel with no window or balcony and awful food along with getting made to feel unwanted and like a criminal.

‘No one is travelling at the minute for fun it is nice not to be treated as an inconvenience.’

Mr Thistlewaite also posted images of some of his delectable meals, saying there was ‘no need for Uber Eats and cutlery’ at his accommodation.

Mr Thistlewaite said the larger-sized accommodation with outdoor access was much better for his mental health

Mr Thistlewaite said the larger-sized accommodation with outdoor access was much better for his mental health

So far, his menu options have included a salmon fillet with a side of baked potato and sautéed asparagus, and chicken breast with roasted potatoes and peas in gravy with a bed of salad.

Australians were amazed by his lavish living conditions, with some putting up their hands to enter quarantine voluntarily just to get a taste.

‘GET OUT! sign us up for a year of isolation please,’ one woman wrote.

‘S**t! I am going to Thailand!’ another wrote.

‘Where do I sign up for this?!?’ a third comment read.

Mr Thistlewaite stressed that he was not arguing returned Australians should be provided with the same accommodation he received.

Australia should simply be doing more for people who have to quarantine, rather than offering overnight accommodation venues, he said.

Mr Thistlewaite's meals have included a salmon fillet and chicken breast with potatoes and greens on the side

Mr Thistlewaite’s meals have included a salmon fillet and chicken breast with potatoes and greens on the side

He suggested that the government adopt Thailand’s model, which offers travellers a choice of where they would like to stay based on their budget.

Others agreed: ‘Australia, this is the example to take from!’ one woman commented.

Another wrote: ‘So much nicer than the Australian style.’

‘That is how human beings should be treated,’ someone else said.

Mr Thistlewaite said though top-level Thai hotel quarantine was more luxurious, the rules were far stricter than Australia.

‘Doctor visit on the first day and a nurse facetimes you twice a day and you show your temperature,’ he said.

In NSW, returned travellers must pay $3,000 for one adult for hotel quarantine, with an additional $1,000 for each extra adult, and $500 per child under 18.

The cost of mandatory isolation in Queensland for one room is $2,800 for one adult, $3,710 for two adults, or $4,620 for two adults and two children.

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