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No training, masks or testing: Security guard speaks out about hotel quarantine debacle

A security guard who worked in Melbourne’s troubled hotel quarantine system has spoken out about the flawed system.

Sam*, a sub-contractor who worked in six hotels housing returned travellers in quarantine, has revealed the shocking lack of training and equipment provided to security guards in the quarantine system.

He says he didn’t receive a minute of training prior to beginning the job, and the only advice he was given came from another security contractor, who was completing his first day of work.

“When I asked him what to do he said ‘it’s also my first day here’,” he told Neil Mitchell.

“I thought there would be a proper induction.

“(There was) no proper training, no infection control training or anything like that.”

Sam* said the personal protective equipment (PPE) available for security workers varied between the six hotels he worked at, but was consistently inadequate, with workers forced to wear just one mask for a 12 hour shift.

“In some hotels there were only masks and in some hotels there was no PPE, not even masks,” he said.

He also says guards weren’t told about positive cases in the hotels.

“I have worked in one of the hotels where everyone in the hotel had tested positive, and when I was working there I didn’t even know that, and I was working there without any PPE!”

Although he tried to keep his distance from returned travellers, Sam said that was impossible during outdoor breaks.

“They have to escort them for 15 minutes every day for a walk … they were in close contact with the people in quarantine because they were using the same lifts and everything.

Press PLAY below for Sam’s* shocking interview.

*not his real name.