Woman Alleges Australian COVID Quarantine Camp Sentence Was Punishment for Lying to Contact Tracers

By Neil Campbell | December 5, 2021
Neil lives in Canada and writes about society and politics.
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A 26-year-old Australian woman says she was sentenced to 14 days at the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility without due process as punishment for lying to contact tracers.
The Howard Springs Quarantine Facility on May 15, 2021 in Darwin, Australia. Once claimed to be a site for international travellers to voluntarily self-isolate, Howard Springs is now a venue used by health authorities to punish Australian citizens without trial or due process if they lie to contact tracers, claims a woman who recounted her 14-day sentence at the facility. (Image: Steven Hoare/Getty Images)

An Australian woman who spoke about her recent 14-day mandatory self isolation at the Howard Springs Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) quarantine camp alleges she was told by government officials her sentence was not related to public health, but was punishment for lying to contact tracing staff. 

Hayley Hodgson, 26, chronicled her experience to The Post’s Unheard in an interview published on Dec. 2. While media outlets have focused on Hodgson’s characterization of the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility as having prison-like conditions, her recount of government statements about the reason for her incarceration has gone mostly overlooked. 

Hodgon told Unheard journalist Freddie Sayers that her sentence at Howard Springs was not about her health, because she had neither contracted symptomatic COVID nor tested positive either before her detention or during three tests across her two week sentence, but was a result of being targeted by the state’s contact tracers.

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After a friend of Hodgson’s displayed signs of the sniffles and ended up testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, he was sent to Howard Springs. Contact tracers investigated every person the man had been in contact with, and Hodgson was one. 

Hayley says she was targeted by contact tracing health authorities after video surveillance revealed the license plate on her scooter. 

Hodgson was never contacted by telephone, but instead, what she described as “two undercover investigators” decided to make a house call. 

The woman says she was intimidated and afraid, and while being questioned about if she knew the man and if she had gotten herself tested for SARS-CoV-2, she panicked, lied, and told them she had. 

Hodgson says shortly after the undercover agents left, they called her saying they couldn’t find a record of her test in the government’s systems. Hayley admitted she had lied, and apologized. She claims the investigators told her to stay at home and wait for health authorities to arrive at her house to administer a test. 

But health authorities never came. Instead, two uniformed police officers arrived and told Hodgson she would be interned at Howard Springs.

When Hayley told cops she did not consent, they gave her a choice: either they would take her to Howard Springs themselves and administer a $5,000 fine for the privilege, or she could call a “COVID cab” and report to the facility herself.

Hodgson says the “cab” that arrived was a repurposed casino van that still had branding. In a video supplied by Hodgson to Unrest, her mother is heard saying as Hayley is taken away, “How professional!”

Throughout the interview, conditions at Howard Springs were described as being isolated 24 hours a day for 14 consecutive days in a small trailer affixed with a small deck.

Inmates at the facility are under 24/7 surveillance and are not allowed to go outside without a mask, and are not allowed to leave their deck or cross onto the other side of the deck to visit with neighbors on penalty of a $5,000 fine administered by camp officials.

Hayley recounted one instance where she was experiencing a mental breakdown as a result of prolonged social isolation and asked to be allowed to go outside to walk around or run around. The request was denied.

Instead, Howard Springs authorities told her they would, however, prescribe her the sedative Valium. 

Hodgson made the claim late in the interview that “I was in there for punishment.” When Sayers asked her to elaborate, Hayley explained the Australian Centers for Disease Control (CDC) told her punishment was the cause of her detention. 

“When other people were in close contact, and they were allowed to self isolate at home, where there was probably about ten of them, and I was the only one that got sent there, and that’s what I was saying, ‘Like, it doesn’t make sense. Why am I the only one here? I want answers to this.’”

“And that was the only time I got an answer is when I rang CDC, and they said ‘Yeah there’s a high chance that you’re in there for punishment because you lied to authorities.’”

Hodgson says from the time of her arrest through to the end of her detention, no semblance of due process was extended, including being informed of her rights or access to an attorney.

Hayley says as a result of her sudden, forced detention at Howard Springs, she lost her job and is currently unemployed. However, the state did compensate her $1,500 AUD in exchange for the 336 hours she spent in isolation, which works out to a wage of $4.46 per hour.

Even based on a more moderate labor calculation of 8 hours a day for her 14 day incarceration, the hourly rate paid was $13.39. According to Australian website Employsure, the minimum wage in Australia is between $19.84 to $20.33 per hour.

Playing ‘Simon Says’ with the Chinese Communist Party

Australia now appears to be mimicking the methods used by communist regimes. On Halloween night in Shanghai China, Chinese Communist Party authorities placed all 34,000 visitors of Shanghai Disneyland on lockdown after one woman, who attended the park the night before, was marked as a contact trace of another person with a positive PCR test. 

The woman was contacted while riding the local train, arrested by authorities at the next station, and sent to a state-run quarantine camp.

Communist Vietnam, was, much like the CCP, praised by the English world’s establishment media as a paragon of pandemic control in the earliest stages of the outbreak. As it turns out, the regime was simply sending citizens to state-run COVID camps in mimicry of the CCP’s Wuhan Model.

In early November in China’s Jiangxi Province, a woman was sent to a quarantine camp by Party authorities. While sitting in detention, she watched helplessly through a security camera app on her phone as government officials entered her apartment and then beat her pet corgi, Chaofen, to death with a crowbar.