I’ve just spent two weeks in the QT 5 star hotel in Surfers Paradise and while I can’t say I loved every minute of it, most days provided an extremely relaxing experience.
For starters, the weather was brilliant viewed from my 17th floor window – and, lucky me, I even had a balcony to while away a few hours in the afternoon sunshine. (Apparently some of the balconies were locked due to social distancing).
A very comfortable king size bed was welcome, as well as a table and chairs and of course the usual requirements such as television and Wifi.
While quarantining wasn’t exactly my preferred option, it ended up being the only way to re-enter Queensland, with both roads and borders closed to travellers. However, I was fortunate in that I had an exemption permit, having already been resident for six months before leaving in May this year to drive to Melbourne.
The flight to the Gold Coast via Canberra with Virgin Airlines (drink of water and a type of muesli bar the sole sustenance for both flights) was uneventful. We had to keep our masks on throughout the journey (and I’ve never been so grateful to rip it off once I stepped into my room at the QT!!)
On arrival at the Gold Coast, our group of passengers was escorted from the plane by Police and processed individually over several hours before being bused to the hotel. There were also Federal Police and Army personnel giving assistance.
So, what was it really like in Quarantine? Well, I consider I’ve had a wonderful inside holiday with three pretty good meals each day and nothing else to do but sleep, watch Netflix, knit, read, write and talk on the mobile phone.
Some people have expressed horror at the thought of spending that amount of time in isolation, and it certainly helped to have telephone conversations with friends and family throughout the two weeks.
The social distancing was of necessity strictly enforced. We were not allowed outside our rooms, and a knock on my door alerted me that my meal had been delivered outside. Funny how different people knock – and most times it made me jump, especially the very strong three knocks at once!
After the knock, we were instructed to wait two minutes to avoid face to face contact with anyone.
The rule seemed to encompass disposable everything, our meals being delivered in paper bags with wooden cutlery and bowls. We got two bottles of spring water each day (I tried my best to achieve the two litre per day quota but have to admit that at the end of the two weeks some of my bottles were still lined up waiting to be drunk). There were no cooking facilities but we could boil a jug for coffee and tea making. (There was a very good Espresso machine but only six pods of coffee and my request for more was unfortunately never fulfilled, to my regret.)
Every other day someone from Queensland Health called to check on my progress, with advice that there was help available if I wasn’t feeling so good about being in quarantine. And I freely admit that while most days passed pretty quickly I did have one day which seemed to go particularly slowly.
There were also calls from The Red Cross to see how I was going, as well as the Department of Justice and Welfare … which I very much appreciated, as two weeks in isolation can be a very long time.
We were able to order food in if we wanted to, and there were both soft and alcoholic drinks available from the bar.
And most of the time, the staff were very friendly and helpful.
As far as the food goes, it was great but far too much for me (lots of cakes and biscuits) but I have to admit that towards the end I was actually looking forward to meal times.
Much as I was able to relax and enjoy the experience, I was very pleased to escape on Friday 14th August, and enjoy a coffee with my brother outside.