Hotel Quarantine Fees
Page last updated on 27/1/2021
What are Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees?
To limit the spread of COVID-19, many individuals and families have been obligated by State and Territory governments to quarantine for a period of time, usually two weeks, after returning home from overseas or interstate.
Although the respective State and Territory governments pay the hotels directly for use of their facilities for mandatory quarantine, those required to quarantine are invoiced for this cost shortly after they exit the facility.
These fees can range anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000, and vary depending on the State / Territory, and the number of people required to quarantine. The person returning home should be provided details of the costs when entering quarantine.
Given the significant expense of mandatory quarantine, some individuals and families may struggle to pay these fees within the standard time given or cannot afford to pay them at all.
As a result, both the National Debt Helpline and financial counselling agencies are seeing increased numbers of people seeking assistance with Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees.
Some things you need to know
There are four main things you need to know when dealing with Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees:
- Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees are, in most cases, the responsibility of the individual or family in quarantine.
- Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees are a State or Territory Government debt, not a private debt held by the hotel where your client was in quarantine.
- If your client cannot afford to pay the fees, they can can request a repayment plan or, in most States and Territories, to have the bill waived.
- Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees differ between the States and Territories, as does policy on extensions, repayment plans and fee waivers.
A summary for financial counsellors covering all relevant details for Mandatory Hotel Quarantine ( including costs, contacts, repayment arrangements and waivers) is available here.
What do you do differently?
In most instances, if you have a client that wants to request a repayment plan or fee waiver, they will need to provide evidence to support this request. It is a good idea to collect as much supporting documentation as you can from your client (for example: income statements, bank statements, bills, medical records, etc.) prior to contacting the relevant State or Territory agency.
Although some States and Territories have provisions to support non-citizens/residents (such as tourists, migrants, refugees, etc.) with Mandatory Hotel Quarantine Fees, most do not.
If your client requests a repayment arrangement or fee waiver and is rejected, the relevant State or Territory agency will advise you of your options and, in some States / Territories, you can appeal this decision. Our understanding is that the repayment plan / waiver rejection can be disputed internally, and that debtors will be advised how to do this either by a call from a dedicated representative, or via information provided in the rejection letter / email.
There are some Commonwealth Support payments that may be of assistance to your clients. These are the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment and the COVID-19 Crisis Payment. It is worthwhile to check to see if your client is eligible for either of these first.
Resources including State and Territory Contacts
Australian Capital Territory
Shared Services Team: 02 6207 9990
New South Wales
Quarantine Fee Team Line: 1300 433 476
Covid-19 Hardship Line (General): 1300 138 118
Fines & Fees: 02 7808 6934
Quarantine Fee Team Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Quarantine Fee Information: 1800 490 484
Quarantine Assistance Email: email@example.com
Accounts Receivable: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fee Queries & Complaints Line: 13 42 68
SA Covid-19 Information Line: 1800 253 787
SA Covid-19 Relief Call Centre: 1300 705 336
Quarantine Fee/Hardship Contact Line: 1800 671 738
Quarantine Fee Info Line: 1800 551 234
24/7 Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398
Fee Queries: 1800 595 206