More than 100 refugees and asylum seekers imprisoned in Australian hotels are at  risk of contracting COVID-19, due to conditions unfit for stopping the spread of the virus. 

The Australian authorities transferred more than 100 people from Manus and Nauru to Australia for medical treatment before the repeal of the Medevac Bill in late 2019. Since then, our government has continued to detain people at the hotels. 

The conditions for refugees in hotels are a COVID health disaster waiting to happen: people are held in crowded conditions, made worse by communal meal and activity arrangements. Social distancing measures simply aren’t possible in the hotels. Amnesty has evidence of people being crowded in rooms of 20 or more people for extended periods of time. 

Moz, a young man detained in Melbourne, says they are trapped inside cramped conditions for 24 hours a day now: “There is no space for social distancing. The guards come and go and do not have masks or anything. I am terrified of what will happen in here, and also worried for the health of Australians if this becomes a COVID-19 hotspot”.

Amnesty has worked with partner organisations to ensure these people have safe accommodation in the community, which respect physical distancing guidelines, to go to.

Demand the Australian Government move people from ‘detention hotels’ and to safe and appropriate community accommodation and health care now.