Rugby League

NRL star vents over being forced to quarantine in Melbourne

A rugby league star has vented his fury on social media and pleaded for help after being forced into hotel quarantine when he arrived in Victoria.

Canberra Raiders halfback George Williams says he and his partner Charlotte Lewis were ordered into isolation at a Melbourne hotel for 14 days after flying in from the nation’s capital on Monday.

Williams took to social media on Monday night to complain about the quarantine conditions, which he compared to a prison.

Williams said the couple had no idea they needed to quarantine for 14 days until they landed in Victoria and claimed the rules changed within an hour of them leaving.

“The rooms are very small with a window you cannot open meaning fresh air is unavailable to us for 2 weeks,” Williams wrote on Instagram.

A meal given to NRL star George Williams in hotel quarantine. Picture: Instagram/georgewilliamssSource:Supplied

Williams’ distraught partner Charlotte Lewis after being told they need to quarantine. Picture: Instagram/georgewilliamssSource:Supplied

“We are not even allowed to leave the room.

“Sorry but criminals all get 1 hour a day fresh air or allowed out of their cell.”

Williams tagged Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, acting Premier Jacinta Allan, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Virgin Australia in his post and then pleaded with his 35,000 followers for help.

“HOW IS THIS FAIR? This is wrong. Help #freeUS,” he said.

Williams said he and Ms Lewis had been in Batemans Bay on the south coast of NSW from December 28 to 30.

Canberra Raiders star George Williams with partner Charlotte Lewis in Batemans Bay. Picture InstagramSource:Instagram

He said they had not been in one of the hot spots or red zones and travelled directly to and from Batemans Bay from the ACT.

He said they even contacted the airport several times to check the border restrictions before leaving.

“This is something we and other act travellers was not aware of and there are many in the same situation as us on the same Virgin Australia flight who can’t understand this at all,” he wrote.

“Again the airline at Canberra Airport that told us we was safe to travel without any restrictions.”

A post shared by GEORGE WILLIAMS (@georgewilliamss)

Williams also posted the rant to his 17,700 followers on Twitter.

Williams and Ms Lewis are holed up at the Mercure Welcome hotel in Melbourne’s CBD.

His detention notice, which he posted a photo of on Instagram, stated he was a “prohibited person” under the NSW border crossing permit scheme directions.

Victoria closed its border to NSW from 11.59pm on January 1. The border with the ACT remains open.

But it’s understood the pair are required to quarantine because they arrived after the border closure and had been in NSW during the past 14 days.

Regional NSW is no longer a green zone and all of NSW has been declared a red zone, with the northern beaches a hot zone.

George Williams in action for the Canberra Raiders. Picture: Mark Kolbe/GettySource:Getty Images

“If you have visited NSW, you cannot return home after 11.59pm on January 1, 2021 unless you have an exemption or exception,” official advice on the Victorian government coronavirus website states.

The Department of Health and Human Services has been contacted for comment.

Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville said on Tuesday the border closure was a “tough decision” but a necessary one to protect Victoria.

“We’ve had to make this decision to protect what we’ve all built together, which is, 61 days of COVID-free community transmission in Victoria. We don’t want to go backwards,” she said.

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