Melbourne's Stamford Plaza Hotel is one of two hotels at the centre of the coronavirus outbreak. Image by James Ross/AAP PHOTOS

Health

Timeline of Vic hotel quarantine program

2020-07-21 14:41:49

VICTORIA’S BUNGLED HOTEL QUARANTINE PROGRAM – KEY DATES:

* March 16 – State of emergency declared in Victoria, returned travellers instructed to undergo 14-days of quarantine at home.

* March 27 – National cabinet decides returned travellers will be subject to mandatory 14-day quarantine “at designated facilities, for example, in a hotel”.

* May 27 – Outbreak at Rydges on Swanston first identified.

* May 31 – Victoria’s state of emergency extended for three weeks ahead of stage-three restrictions easing the next day. Four new COVID-19 cases, 74 active cases.

* June 6 – No new cases for the first time since March 5.

* June 9 – Students return to school. 

* June 17 – Stamford Plaza outbreak identified; Victoria records 21 new COVID-19 cases – its highest increase in more than a month.

* June 21 – Further easing of restrictions. 

* June 26 – Concerns grow about the program after it’s revealed 30 per cent of travellers are refusing tests. Confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to rise. 

* June 29 – Hot spot suburbs in Melbourne’s north and north-west return to lockdown and all international flights into the city are put on hold for two weeks.

* July 2 – Inquiry into Victoria’s hotel quarantine program announced. 

* July 4 – A full lockdown is announced at short notice for nine Melbourne public housing towers. Victoria records 108 new cases – its first day above 100 since late March.

* July 6 – The Victoria-NSW border shuts for the first time in a century.

* July 8  – Melbourne and Mitchell Shire placed into stage-three lockdown for six weeks. 

* July 13 – Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton tells ABC Radio that it was conceivable all current cases in Victoria could be traced back to outbreaks stemming from the hotel quarantine system.

* July 17 – 428 new COVID-19 cases – the record daily total in Australia

* July 20 – Hotel Quarantine Inquiry begins. Victoria records 275 new COVID-19 cases, the 15th consecutive day of triple-digit increases in new infections. The state’s death toll grows to 39 after a woman in her 80s died. 

* August 6 – Public hearings set to begin. 

* September 25 – Final report due