Debt collectors are chasing 5,000 residents for hotel quarantine bill


28-02-21 10:40:00, Debt collectors in NSW are chasing more than 5,000 residents who haven’t paid their hotel quarantine bill – but many are saying they should be exempt

  • Australians being chased by debt collectors over hotel quarantine bills
  • Some simply can’t afford to pay after forking out thousands flights back home
  • Others argue that they shouldn’t have to because facilities were ‘appalling’ 

By Cameron Carpenter For Daily Mail Australia

Published: 18:20 EST, 26 February 2021 | Updated: 18:22 EST, 26 February 2021

Whinging Australians returning from overseas are refusing to pay the bill for their two-week hotel quarantine stay – with debt collectors chasing more than 5,000 people over unpaid fees.

Some simply can’t afford the $5,000 charge for a family-of-four, while others claim that the are facilities ‘appalling’, so they shouldn’t have to pay.

Michael Ledsome told The Australian he’s refusing to pay his quarantine bill even though he can afford to do so, after returning from Turkey with his family.

‘It’s a matter of principle, it’s my right to refuse to pay.’

While he wanted to return home before the July 2020 deadline, he claimed he was advised by the Australian embassy in Akara to ‘not risk international travel.’ 

Those who purchased flights before July 12, 2020 were not required to pay for hotel quarantine in New South Wales.

He also complained that his pregnant wife and three-year-old child, who left Turkey before him, had been given prior permission to quarantine at home, but when they arrived in Australia they were told to go into hotel quarantine with ‘no opening windows or proper medical support’.

Those returning to Australia must undergo a mandatory 14-day period of quarantine at a hotel

Other Australians have argued that work commitments should make them exempt from paying.

A chef, who works on ships overseas for up to three months at a time, told the publication: ‘I’m basically like a fly-in, fly-out. I need to keep the family fed and pay my mortgage’.

He said he supports hotel quarantine, but found it ‘crazy’ that it wasn’t tax deductible.

‘I’ve received three warning notices already and I’m not paying.’

Many others were struggling to pay after spending thousands of dollars on overpriced flights to get home.

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