Luxury lockdown: AFL WAGS sip cocktails by the pool during ‘hotel quarantine’ at a luxury resort after being given the green light to dodge Queensland’s border closure – and those denied exemptions are furious
- An estimated 400 AFL players and officials have descended on Queensland
- Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed them under special quarantine arrangements
- AFL WAGs and officials were seen lounging by pool during their hotel quarantine
- Other travellers entering the state are required to follow strict quarantine rules
- The AFL Grand Final will be played at the Gabba in Brisbane on October 24
About 400 AFL players and officials – including top executives – have descended on Queensland under controversial quarantine arrangements after being given the all-clear to dodge the state’s border lockdown.
‘We are doing this quarantine the same as everyone else,’ AFL boss Gill McLachlan said this week.
But images and video that emerged on Thursday tell a different story.
AFL WAGs and officials lounge by the pool during their hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast
Birds eye video footage of the quarantine hotel showed AFL officials and WAGs make the most of the luxury resort
Aerial footage – published by Nine News on Thursday – showed WAGs relaxing by the swimming pool at the quarantine resort as children splashed in the water.
The wives and girlfriends soaked up the sun with drinks in hand, just a few steps away from the poolside bar.
The vision is a world away from the experience of other travellers who have desperately fought to enter Queensland.
Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain.
The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.
She blasted Ms Palaszczuk for allowing the AFL officials to enter the state on Tuesday night.
‘I don’t understand it, mind-blowing,’ Ms Brown told Nine News.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been criticised for easing her strict border controls to welcome the officials and their loved ones from coronavirus-riddled Victoria
Jayne Brown (pictured) was denied an exemption to self-isolate at her Sunshine Coast home
The Queensland government has deemed all of Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT to be coronavirus hotspots.
Travellers from hotspot states who are granted a border declaration pass are required to spend 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine, at their own cost.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg accused the Queensland government of double standards.
Pictured: Members of the AFL quarantine hub lounge by the pool of their hotel
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan flew to the Gold Coast on Tuesday ahead of the code’s announcement the Gabba in Brisbane will host the grand final
Mr Frydenberg said the football hub showed two sets of rules on borders given regular punters had missed out on vital medical treatment.
‘It’s just not on that a young woman can lose an unborn child because of confusion at the borders,’ he told the Nine Network on Thursday.
‘At the same time, footy officials can go down to their hotel bar as they so-called quarantine in Queensland.
‘It seems double standards on our borders.’
Mr McLachlan refused to be drawn into a war of words.
‘The borders between the federal government and the states is a big issue and I’m not going to wade into that, other than to say I empathise with every situation,’ he told 3AW.
McLachlan arrives for a press conference from the Queensland quarantine hub on Wednesday to announce the 2020 AFL Grand Final will be played at the Gabba
He hoped people would understand the arrangements were keeping people in jobs.
‘With respect to the borders and the individual circumstances – great empathy. With respect to the politics – not for me.’
The CEO flew to the Gold Coast on Tuesday ahead of the code’s announcement Brisbane will host the grand final.
AFL officials and their families still need to undergo hotel quarantine after flying into the state.
But they are free to leave their room and use the pool and bar amenities, unlike other quarantine guests solely confined to their rooms.
The Sunshine State will host the 2020 Grand Final on October 24 at the Gabba in Brisbane following a deadly coronavirus outbreak in Victoria.