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What's Quarantine Like In Australia? Mari Jasmine Documents Her 14-Day Isolation In Sydney

Quarantine done right by the Australian government!

Australia has been one of the model countries in terms of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, taking into account that they have a huge 25-million population and an economy that depends largely on global trade and tourism. Despite these challenges, their government has done a great job in putting guidelines in place, and the residents have been very compliant with social distancing measures.

Mari Jasmine is a TV host and model who was born and raised in Sydney, Australia. But since she’s been based in Manila for work, she was one of the many people who found themselves unable to go home because of the travel restrictions in place.

Towards the end of April, weeks after the country was put in lockdown because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mari Jasmine was one of the many Australians who was offered to join repatriation flights back to Australia. The flights were organized by the Australian embassy through Philippine Airlines, and within 24 hours, she was on her way back home to Sydney.

She shared her whole 14-day quarantine via Instagram to showcase how efficient the Australian government—and Australia in general—has been in responding to the pandemic.

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14-day self-quarantine

After arriving in Sydney, everyone from the flight was subjected to a health check. Although they did not display any symptoms, everyone was required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine in a hotel room provided by the Australian government. During this time, all of them were provided the accommodation and meals for free.

Although none of them were able to choose which hotel they would be assigned to, Mari was pleasantly surprised with hers. The room was a respectable size, and had a great view of the Sydney Harbour.

Her hotel room's toilet and bath was equipped with an inviting bathtub that Mari tried her best to resist—saving it for for when she ran out of things to do. Well, she did try her best until Day 5.

Getting tested

None of them were required to take a swab test when they arrived in Sydney, but Mari says that a nurse called every day to check up on their physical and mental health.

On Day 9 of her self-quarantine, Mari shares she went to bed with a slight sore throat. After telling the nurse on her daily call, they swabbed her right away and the results came in after 24 hours. She tested negative.

Amazing food

Three times a day, the hotel would provide them food that’s left in a paper bag outside their room. Mari also commended how the hotel made sure to take note of their dietary restrictions and allergies. In Mari’s case, she was vegetarian and was allergic to walnuts and pecans.

They even left her a bottle of wine, too!

While the food was enough to get you through the day, Mari shares they were also allowed to order take-out and groceries through delivery services, which will then be left in the lobby and brought up to their rooms.

Mari was also lucky enough that her mom would regularly send her care packages, which was made up of amazing home-cooked meals and fruits.

Providing and replacing essentials

Unlike normal hotel room service, there was no housekeeping service coming in to clean and replace essentials since they were on self-isolation. Mari shares that they left a decent amount of toiletries for their use, including cleaning products such as sponge and disinfectants.

The hotel provided laundry service, although they’ve been given sets of fresh sheets and towels (which they have to replace themselves) halfway through the isolation period.

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Tips in spending the quarantine

Spending time alone in a small hotel room has been challenging for Mari, but she shares some of her techniques to keep her sanity during the isolation period. On some days, she would call her friends, and even set a quarantine home party through video call.

Mari shares she has also fallen into a routine where she makes her bed everyday and only uses it when it’s time to sleep to separate her rest and work areas. She has designated the couch area beside the window as her work area.

Two days before Mother’s Day, Mari also received some origami papers from her mom’s care package. Folding origami boxes has helped her fill some of the hours with productive activity.

After the 14-day self-isolation, Mari was given the go signal to leave for home. Talking about her realizations during her quarantine, she says, “This whole experience has really driven home the fact that the life you’re born into is a lottery. Felling both grateful and guilty that I am having this experience that isn’t available to most. Trying to understand where to put my energy and how I can help other communities that aren’t as fortunate.”

Check out Mari Jasmine's full documentation of her 14-day self-isolation in the gallery below.

Photos from @marijasmine.

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