Headlines referring to a "Quarantine Hotel Sex Scandal" in the Australian city of Melbourne are now appearing all over the world.
This week, CNN, The Independent and the Tele were among several media outlets to report on potential sexual activity between international arrivals and workers contracted to ensure they adhere to the mandatory two-week isolation period. graph UK
With 77 fresh cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Victoria on Thursday and 66 on Friday, questions about Victoria's security measures in quarantine are more pressing than ever.
Here's everything we know about Victoria's alleged "quarantine sex scandal".
Watch: A theory about why so many Victorians are refusing coronavirus testing. Post continues below.
Where the allegations came from.
Accusations that guards slept with locked-down travellers have been reported by the Herald Sun.
According to security industry figures and quarantine-hotel insiders, hotel guards slept with guests, as well as shook hands and shared lifts with those in quarantine, which was a major breach of regulations.
There are also allegations that guards were caught sleeping on the job, wore the same personal protective equipment for up to eight hours at a time without changing it, and allowed families to go between rooms, playing games and mingling with others.
Claims that guards potentially had sex with infected guests at Rydges Hotel or Stamford Plaza were published in Victorian newspapers and appeared on breakfast television this week.
A judicial inquiry is set to examine these claims, which will cost taxpayers $3 million.
Is it possible?
In short, yes.
The recent surge in Victoria's coronavirus cases has been attributed mostly to breaches in quarantine protocols. Specialised testing has revealed that many of the cases can be traced back to private contractors working as security guards at two hotels.
If contractors were properly trained and social distancing measures were enforced, then it would have been highly unlikely that they could have contracted the virus. But we know that guards not only contracted COVID-19, but then spread it to other members of the community.