Twelve security guards sacked from quarantine hotels
A dozen security guards have been booted from NSW's quarantine hotels after being caught sleeping on the job and making TikTok videos.
Police have now launched a crackdown on the program after more than 350 guests in mandatory two-week quarantine at the Travelodge in Sydney's CBD had to be moved to another hotel.
Guests had complained the rooms weren't cleaned properly, with filthy bathrooms and toenails and hairs found strewn on the carpets.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has set up a committee to ramp up on-the-spot audits of quarantine hotels and security guards.
"I have set up a new committee that will audit not just the security guards, but they will also audit the hotels in terms of the cleanliness and the cleaning, and the sorts of briefings that hotel staff are getting," he said.
He said this would minimise the chances of security guards catching COVID-19 again, following the anomaly of two of them testing positive to the virus.
Mr Fuller said 12 security guards had been removed from the hotel quarantine program since it began in April.
That included three guards who were found sleeping on the job this month and two guards who filmed a prank TikTok video that ended up in the news. The video showed one guard pretending to be asleep in a hotel hallway.
Another guard was punted for poor customer service and another for trying to work for two separate security companies in a 24-hour period, which was a code of conduct breach.
This month two security guards working at the hotels tested positive to COVID-19 and one of those, who failed to self-isolate, was taken off the quarantine program.
A review of CCTV showed the guards had worked on the same floor at the Marriott Hotel and near the door to a room where a traveller who had the virus was staying, but there had been no contact.
"We interviewed everybody and the contact tracing team through NSW Health examined the whole operation, not just the floor or the individuals," Mr Fuller said.
"We couldn't find a point of contact. But the reality is we do carry bags for people, we do have to move and give food.
"There is a whole range of things that I can't stop. I can't fully mitigate the chance of the virus being spread."
Since the operation - overseen by NSW Police with help from the Australian Defence Force and private security companies - began, the Security Licensing and Enforcement Directorate has carried out more than 100 audits.
More than 120 notices for corrective action have been handed out, "which could be as simple as a security guard not being appropriately dressed".
"There have been hundreds of hotel inspections for a whole range of reasons, but we will ramp up our inspections in terms of cleanliness and cleaning," Mr Fuller said.
Originally published as Twelve security guards sacked from NSW's quarantine hotels