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Victoria’s purpose-built quarantine facility opens on Monday. This is what it’s like inside


Those numbers are expected to increase as tourists and non-residents are allowed back in the country on February 21. There are less than 120 people in hotel quarantine in Victoria.

After being transported by SkyBus to the sprawling 22-hectare site, travellers will be dropped off at a checkpoint to be checked in to one of two “villages” by a staff member through an intercom.

Accommodation is a mixture of single, double and family rooms, as well as specialised dwellings for people with disabilities. The buildings are connected by footpaths rather than corridors to prevent the virus transmitting between rooms.

The ventilation system is described as world-class, with an extensive and highly visible network of metal ducting sitting on top of each cabin. Ms Neville said on Saturday it was possible to see the ventilation “from the moon”.

Another key design feature, inspired by the Howard Springs facility in Darwin, are the verandahs that wrap across the front of each cabin behind an enclosure of white fencing.

The decks allow residents to move outside and breathe in fresh air, however that’s as far as they’ll be able to go during their stay.

Staff members known as “resident experience officers” will be patrolling the grounds in light blue polo shirts to keep an eye on things. There are also more than 500 CCTV cameras watching to make sure no one absconds.

Inside, the accommodation resembles that of a comfortable budget hotel. Guests have access to an in-house entertainment system and a TV, while food is ordered from a giant commercial kitchen by phone or through a tablet.

An example of the dishes cooked on-site include beef massaman curry, chicken cacciatore and rice noodle salad.

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Infection control is the most important part of the facility’s operations, with staff wearing maroon shirts given the task of monitoring the correct use of protective equipment.

The residential area is known as the “red zone”, which indicates that the strictest protocols are in place. Once staff have disposed of any contaminated equipment they pass through to the “green zone”.

To assist with internal contact tracing, staff wear specialised trackers that will trace their movements should they come into contact with a positive case.

As with any accommodation stay, there comes a time to check out and pay the bill.

The prices for a stay in the Victorian Quarantine Hub are $1500 for an adult, $500 for an additional adult, and $250 for children aged over three.

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