Governments still chasing millions from people who stayed in Australia's quarantine hotels

International news
People forced to stay in hotels for weeks at a time to slow the spread of COVID-19 still owe at least $70 million for bills racked up during their stays, according to Australia's state and territory governments.

Hotel quarantine began in March 2020, when all incoming travellers were required to undertake a two-week isolation period in a hotel or other accommodation facility.

The scheme was initially managed and funded by the states and territories, with support from the federal government.

States began to charge for the hotel quarantine system in July 2020 when the federal government refused to take over the system's management and foot the bill.

Hotel quarantine was phased out across the country throughout late 2021 and early 2022, when home quarantine became possible through the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine.

However, four years after the policy was enacted, some states are still struggling to recoup the money they spent establishing and managing the system.