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Man flees Australian coronavirus quarantine using a bed sheet

July 21, 2021
A 39-year-old man allegedly used a rope made from bedsheets to shimmy down from a fourth-floor hotel room and flee Australian quarantine, police said. — Courtesy file photo
A 39-year-old man allegedly used a rope made from bedsheets to shimmy down from a fourth-floor hotel room and flee Australian quarantine, police said. — Courtesy file photo

SYDNEY — A 39-year-old man allegedly used a rope made from bedsheets to shimmy down from a fourth-floor hotel room and flee Australian quarantine, police said.

The man arrived in Western Australia from Brisbane on Monday afternoon but didn't meet the exemption requirements needed to enter the state, which currently has strict border rules in place, according to a statement from the Western Australia Police Force.

The man was told to leave Western Australia within 48 hours and was sent to a quarantined hotel overnight. The man allegedly made a getaway after midnight but was caught Tuesday morning and charged with failure to comply with a direction and providing false information.
The man tested negative for COVID-19, police said.

The bold escape comes as Australia is struggling to contain a local outbreak of the Delta variant that began on June 16 with a limousine driver from Bondi, Sydney, who transported an international flight crew. Now hundreds of cases are being reported in New South Wales (NSW) each week, with a handful of cases in neighboring states Victoria and South Australia.

More than half of Australia's 26 million population are in lockdown in those three states, and restrictions have been imposed elsewhere to stop the spread.

Australia's borders have been closed since last year to almost all non-Australians, and even those allowed into the country must pay thousands of dollars to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel. Spaces in the state-run quarantine hotels are limited, so fewer tickets are being sold for international flights. Thousands of Australians have complained that they have been shut out of the country.

But while border security has been tight, Australia has been slow to vaccinate its population. Just 11 percent of the population are fully vaccinated, significantly lower than the United Kingdom, where 53 percent are fully vaccinated, or the United States, where 48 percent are vaccinated. — CNN

July 21, 2021
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