As the coronavirus forces homebound travellers to quarantine in hotels around the nation, it’s better than the option faced by those arriving in Sydney in the mid-1800s.
As the coronavirus forces homebound travellers to quarantine in hotels around the nation, it's better than the option faced by those arriving in Sydney in the mid-1800s.
In an age without air-travel, new arrivals showing signs of sickness after a sea voyage would be taken straight to the North Head Quarantine Station on the shores of Sydney Harbour in Manly.
There amongst the emerald waters, sandstone cliffs and bushland they would be kept in isolation for 40 days.
Relatives and friends could come and visit, but from behind fixed fence lines 12 metres away.
Quarantine Station Hotel Director Suzanne Stanton told 9News that even first-class passengers would be forced to disinfect.
"They'd step in, take off their clothes, leave the dirty clothes, and then through here into the shower area," she said.
The tiny corrugated iron shower stalls also featured a tiny peep-hole.
"The matron would be checking that they were actually making themselves wet," Ms Stanton said.
Luggage would be sterilised through towering steam autoclaves.
The station even came equipped with an inhalation chamber valve where patients would breathe in steam, zinc sulphate, and eucalyptus to clear their lungs.
The site is now leased and cared for by the Quarantine Station Hotel, the only accommodation with a private harbour beach.
However, it is itself now ironically under isolation, having been forced to close its doors in the global health crisis.
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-how-travellers-in-the-1800s-quarantined/3cf98171-5f4e-44bb-8b14-a69d5a16db41