An influencer from Potts Point has been fined after attempting to flee a quarantine hotel over the weekend.
The 39-year-old, who 7 News has identified as Sarah Josephine Liberty, escaped via the fire exit of the Marriott hotel on Pitt Street.
According to police, a security contractor saw her approach the fire exit and, following a short struggle, she ran through the exit and was chased on foot before disappearing from sight.
Police found Liberty in Circular Quay after about 45 minutes and took her to hospital for assessment before she was transferred to a hotel managed by NSW Health.
Liberty told her Instagram followers that she called her GP after experiencing a “wave of anxiety” when she realised she would be locked in the hotel for two weeks.
“And I’ll confess, it brought me to tears,” she said.
“I just want to run to the ocean, eat Sydney Thai (nothing beats it), and a huge plate of oysters. Instead, I’m in hotel room with instant coffee, [Weet-Bix] and not much else.”
She acknowledged that she understood why confinement was necessary and was grateful to be home after months of confinement in Paris.
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These were the words my amazing Sydney GP just said to me, after I called him urgently – after a wave of anxiety hit me when I woke up realising I am going to be locked in a hotel room for the next 2 weeks. . And I’ll confess, it brought me to tears. I am strong, but after facing months of confinement in Paris, I just want to run to the ocean, eat Sydney Thai (nothing beats it), and a huge plate of oysters. Instead, I’m in hotel room with instant coffee, weatbix and not much else. . Having said that, I understand why confinement is necessary and am so happy to be home. So wish me Bon Courage for the next 2 weeks, and watch out for me when I’m released! I’m a woman on a mission. ?
Police fined the Liberty $1,000 for not complying with the public health act.
Police also attended her room as part of inquiries and found the sprinkler systems had been “significantly damaged”.
Legal action is expected to be taken.
Liberty was the first person to receive a fine for breaching hotel quarantine in NSW.
Quarantine security in the spotlight
Quarantine hotels around the country are in the spotlight after Victorians returning from overseas have copped the blame for the states high number of cases.
Victoria’s state government has launched a judicial inquiry into the COVID-19 hotel quarantine program, with special attention to training, contractual agreements and communication between government agencies, hotel operators and private contractors.
Acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly said states need to find the appropriate people and train them effectively to “really reinforce the issues around infection control and so forth.
“That hotel quarantine around Australia has been the most successful component of our control of this pandemic so far,” Kelly said at a press conference on Sunday, adding that around 70,000 people have been through the program since it was instigated.
“We’ve had very few times when that quarantine has failed. There’s been a particular issue in Victoria, and that’s a matter of a judicial inquiry.”
This comes as Victorian premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday morning that the NSW and Victoria border will close at midnight on Tuesday night.
It marks the first time the border has been closed between the states since the pandemic began.
Featured image source: Instagram/@_sarahliberty_