Australian sentenced to one month in prison for not staying in a hotel

An Australian who was supposed to spend 14 days in quarantine in a hotel as part of the fight against Covid-19 will have to spend a month behind bars for breaching the containment requirement, police said Wednesday.

He is the first Australian to be sentenced to prison under the provisions against the new coronavirus.

Jonathan David, 35, was sentenced on Wednesday by a court in Perth, western Australia, to six and a half months in prison, including a jail term, for escaping from the hotel room where he was to be confined for two weeks on at least two occasions. He had been arrested earlier this month after using an emergency exit from the hotel, according to the Western Australian police.

He told the court that the first time he went out to get food and the second time he went out to see his girlfriend in Armadale, a suburb of Perth, Seven News reported.

Quarantine release planned for Monday
By using the fire escape, he managed to escape the surveillance of hotel employees, but his escape was caught on security cameras, according to police.

David was required to stay in isolation for 14 days from the end of March, when he arrived in Perth from Victoria. If he had stayed in his hotel room, he would have been free on Monday, but he will now have to wait a month in prison and pay a fine of more than AU$2,000 (€1,160).

All Australians returning from abroad are obliged to observe a two-week quarantine in hotels and other rented residences directly from the airport.