Since its establishment, this inquiry has obtained a significant volume of documents and other evidence from relevant parties, including via the public hearings held from 17 August until 28 September 2020. The inquiry heard evidence about the Hotel Quarantine Program from medical and scientific experts, government officials, hotel staff, and returned travellers who experienced the program.
This interim report proposes recommendations for a future quarantine program that contains two models – a facility-based model and a home-based model.
The report contains 69 recommendations for consideration and action. Some of these recommendations are generally applicable across the quarantine program for international arrivals, and some are specific to a facility-based model or a home-based model.
- To achieve an orderly and manageable process, the Victorian government must do all things possible to ensure appropriate and necessary processes are put in place to control the numbers of international arrivals at any given time, informed by the availability of fully operational facilities that are ready and able to receive the agreed numbers.
- The Victorian government needs to take all possible steps to obtain the co-operation and assistance of Commonwealth agencies and officials, to ensure that the best available and most relevant information is provided to State officials as far in advance as possible for each international arrival, in order to facilitate an informed suitability assessment for appropriate placement in the quarantine program (including suitability to quarantine at home).
- The Victorian government needs to ensure that at the ministerial and departmental level, clear control and accountability structures are in place for the operation of the quarantine program (including the facility-based program together with any home-based program), to be operated by one Cabinet-approved department, with support from other departments as necessary, but in accordance with a clear line of command vesting ultimate responsibility in the approved department and Minister.