Anna Carter spent the night in jail after being arrested for violating her violating her quarantine order. Carter claims she was just looking for fresh towels.
Carter, 45, is under quarantine in Brisbane, Australia. She was ordered to self-isolate in the Ibis Brisbane Airport Hotel after arriving from New South Wales. Each Australian state or territory has the authority to set their own entry requirements and many have restricted non-essential movement to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But police found her outside the hotel. She told officers she had checked out of the hotel because the Ibis did not provide fresh towels each day. She was promptly arrested and hauled into court. Per 9News, A prosecutor told the court:
“She had no real reason to be absent from the hotel. We are all aware of just how urgent the [COVID-19] situation is and the importance of self-quarantine, especially when directed to by a public health official or police.”
In addition to the night in jail, she was fined A$2000. As it turns out, this wasn’t Carter’s first offense. The day before she was caught out of her hotel room at a local rail station. She blamed her outing on the need to purchase a band-aid for a blister on her foot. She was returned with a warning but police found her at an ATM five hours later. For that, she was fined A$1300.
Magistrate judge Stephen Courtney called the move selfish.
“Significant effort and expense have been gone to because of people like Ms Carter because the community can’t be confident they will do the right thing.”
I can sympathize with Carter’s wish for fresh towels and a band-aid, but it is not clear that the hotel denied either request. Rather, it seems more likely she just could not stand the quarantine.