This article originally appeared on The Age website on 3 Oct 2020.



The residents of a Melbourne aged care home with no active coronavirus cases have been told that if they leave to visit a doctor, they must stay in their rooms for a fortnight upon their return.

Jeremy King, from Robinson Gill Lawyers, has acted in matters involving illegal detention and Victoria Police, and has been consulted by a client whose parents were being kept in their room at an aged care home.

He warned some homes could expose themselves to false imprisonment or unlawful detention accusations, which he noted “does not have to be malicious”.

Some homes were going beyond what the Department of Health and Human Services specifically ordered to stop the spread of coronavirus, Mr King said, and needed to balance protecting residents from coronavirus with illegally detaining them in their rooms.

Some homes’ orders to isolate appeared to be “making it up as they go along”, he said.