A woman in mandatory hotel quarantine has described the cleanliness of a bedroom she was assigned in the second hotel opened to new arrivals as “pretty shocking”.
Luanna Spillane, a dual Irish-Brazilian citizen who is in quarantine after visiting a sick relative in Brazil, said she found hair on the bedsheets and dirty stains and leftover food in her bedroom at the Holiday Inn Express near Dublin Airport after flying in last Tuesday.
The 28-year-old said she understood the necessity of having to quarantine given her travel from Brazil – a country with high levels of coronavirus variants of concern.
However, she pointed to the "irony" of being given an unhygienic room and the risk of contracting Covid-19 in the hotel when she had tested negative before departing for Ireland.
“We are kept in here because we are potential risks but what about us? I have no idea who was in the room before me,” she said. “They bring us in here as a potential risk to others but then you come in and see the hygiene of the place which is not as it should be.”
Ms Spillane, a human resources executive with a large multinational in Dublin, said that she was given a different room after complaining.
When she arrived, her room also did not have a mini-fridge in which she could keep food during her 12-day quarantine or medication she takes that requires refrigeration.
She was initially given a portable cooler with supplies of ice, but the hotel eventually gave her a mini-fridge on her fourth day.
"Complying with the rules is no problem but it is the conditions are pretty upsetting. I am concerned about the risks that I am being put through with the cleanliness of the place," said the Rio de Janeiro native, who has been living in Dublin for four years.
She said guests are expected to clean their own rooms during their quarantine period and hotel staff drop up bleach and other products to guests to clean the rooms themselves.
“It is more of a punishment and a prison than a stay in a hotel. I was not expecting a spa treatment – I knew I would be contained in a room – but you expect a minimum of conditions,” she said.
The Holiday Inn Express, where Ms Spillane is staying, is part of the Tifco group, the private hotel operator running the mandatory hotel quarantine system on behalf of the Government.
A spokesman for Tifco directed queries to the Department of Health.
A spokeswoman for the department said it was in “constant contact” with Tifco about issues relating to the management of mandatory hotel quarantine.
“At all times, our priority is to ensure that everyone completing their period of mandatory quarantine is comfortable and secure,” she said. “The department and Tifco continue to work together to ensure this is the case.”