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Unvaccinated foreign tourists can now enter Melbourne's quarantine hub
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Unvaccinated foreign tourists can now enter Melbourne’s quarantine hub

Melbourne Quarantine Hub

The Victorian Quarantine Hub in Melbourne is getting ready to welcome its first inhabitants on Monday.

This is an important milestone in Victoria’s public health response to the COVID-19 epidemic, since quarantine restrictions for unvaccinated travelers continue to be a key factor in our ability to remain open.

As hotel quarantine is phased out over the next month, the hub will become Victoria’s lone quarantine facility, with the potential to house up to 1000 residents at any given time beginning in April.

In addition to unvaccinated travelers, the facility can house covid-positive community members who are unable to isolate at home, such as healthcare professionals. It might also be used as a makeshift shelter in the event of a natural disaster, and it will be vital in the event of future pandemics.

Unlike hotels, which had to be adapted to fulfill quarantine and ventilation regulations, the hub was built with infection prevention and control at its core.

The hub is built up of cabin-style lodging with outdoor decks as entry and departure points, preventing the virus from spreading through common hallways and other indoor areas.

All services and facilities are supplied immediately onsite, limiting any extra internal or external transit.

The center will function in an open-air environment and rely on the latest technology, including specialized ventilation systems created by IPC specialists and CCTV surveillance of the villages, drawing on lessons learned from hotel quarantine.

Guests will have access to in-house computerized meal ordering and entertainment, which will reduce staff-to-resident interaction.

COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria will be in charge of the facility, with Victoria Police providing perimeter protection.

CQV has begun on-site training and orientation for about 560 employees, as well as stress-testing all systems to verify that its rigorous IPC processes are in place before to the first residents’ arrival.

The VQH is a Commonwealth-State partnership project, with the Victorian Government paying an initial $15 million in planning and design, as well as supporting the facility’s operational costs, equipment, and operating system fit-out. The rest of the project, including building expenditures, was sponsored by the Australian government.

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