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Just one SA medi-hotel open as quarantine program winds down

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SA Health has cut back its hotel quarantine program to just one facility, following the recent closure of the Pullman medi-hotel on Hindmarsh Square.

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In a statement to InDaily, SA Health confirmed it had vacated the Pullman Hotel earlier this year, signalling the imminent end to supervised COVID-19 quarantine.

A spokesperson was unable to confirm when the medi-hotel stopped operating, but said its closure was prompted by the gradual relaxation of quarantine rules.

“Over the past six months there has been a progressive reduction in the demand on the medi-hotel program,” the SA Health spokesperson said.

“The latest change is that the Pullman Hotel will be concluding its role as part of South Australia’s medi-hotel program.

“The move is part of our transition with more than 99 per cent of COVID-19 positive cases safely managing their symptoms in the community.”

InDaily contacted the Pullman Hotel for comment but is yet to receive a response.

Close to 13,000 people quarantined at the Hindmarsh Square hotel since it opened in April 2020, making it one of the largest and longest-running medi-hotels in the state.

The hotel was one of about eight in Adelaide used as quarantine facilities for travellers, close contacts and COVID-positive cases, costing taxpayers in the order of $120 million .

Hotel quarantine was touted as one of the state’s key defences against COVID-19 during the early days of the pandemic, but a shift towards home-based isolation and the relaxation of travel requirements meant demand gradually dried up.

Earlier this year, the Playford Hotel, Stamford Plaza and Hotel Grand Chancellor transitioned from medi-hotels back to tourist accommodation, joining other former quarantine hotels including Peppers Waymouth and Ibis Adelaide.

Now, only Tom’s Court medi-hotel on King William Street is still in use.

The 72-bed medi-hotel, which opened last year as a quarantine facility for COVID-positive patients, is still accommodating infectious people who require supervision but whose conditions are not deemed serious enough to warrant hospital admission.

SA Health did not respond to questions asking when it anticipated the Tom’s Court medi-hotel to close.

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