New COVID lockdown rules limit alcohol possession for certain Australians

In Australia, people who are exposed to COVID-19 can be quarantined in large apartment towers away from the general population, under the control and supervision of government health authorities. Friends and family can send them food and care packages during their two weeks of isolation — but, according to Sky News, the New South Wales Health department has been restricting alcohol access for locked down Sydney residents:

NSW Health has imposed rules limiting people in "NSW Health controlled buildings" to a certain amount of alcohol each day in a bid to "ensure the safety of health staff and residents".


Residents of the social housing estate have complained that care packages sent by friends and relatives have been searched before they are delivered.

"They are searching all bags and things coming into the building … They confiscated a series of gifts. So things like bottles of spirits, we weren't allowed to have those and we still (aren't)," Common Ground resident Robin Elhaj said.

Residents are allowed to receive a ration of one of the following: six beers or pre-mixed drinks, one bottle of wine, or one 375ml bottle of spirits.

Excess alcohol is being confiscated until lockdown rules are lifted.

Residents can consult with a clinician if they think they need more than the allowed limit.

Curiously, these are the same rules for people of legal drinking age in the dorms at my undergrad alma mater (which only guaranteed housing for your first year anyway).

Can you imagine if such tyranny came to the United States? Because I … actually don't know the overlap between teetotalers and anti-mask/anti-vax folks, but I suspect there may be some inconsistencies in their championing for selective civil liberties. But, if I were living in Australia and was exposed to COVID-19 and was sent somewhere to quarantine, I would want at least a full bottle of whiskey to get me through it (assuming I was symptom-free).

NSW Health limits residents of locked-down tower block to six beers per day [Anton Nilsson and James O'Doherty /]