ScoMo’s iso life in lockdown at The Lodge
A workout on an exercise bike. A de-stress session on a gravity puzzle. And a virtual press conference dressed in a suit jacket - and board shorts and thongs.
This is life in isolation for Prime Minister Scott Morrison who will on Sunday enter day four of a mandatory two-week quarantine period after arriving home from an "essential" trip to Japan.
News Corp's Sunday Telegraph was given a rare inside glimpse into the day-to-day activities of the PM as he isolates amid tight security at The Lodge with his staff photographer Adam Taylor.
Following the strictest of protocols vetted by Commonwealth and ACT Departments of Health, in addition to the Australian Federal Police, Mr Morrison is even restricted in his movements within the official residence which has been divided into "red", "yellow" and "drop" zones.
But despite being a virtual prisoner in his home away from home, Mr Morrison said he was coping well.
"It's actually pretty busy," he said.
"Last night we had APEC until 2.30am. There are announcements and briefings and a lot of paperwork. I almost live behind four walls with a guard and a lot of my movements are closely controlled so it's not that different.
"But of course I can't see the kids. The family, although we talk several times a day."
Mr Morrison, who underwent the first of two mandatory COVID tests on Saturday, said the little downtime he had was spent on the exercise bike or "working through" all the streaming services.
"There is a bike here. I just go for 30 minutes. I try not to go too hard, although my brother Allan is a paramedic," he joked.
"I also found a Gravitrax set in my daughter's room and did that. It's a puzzle. I find it de-stresses.
"But the working bit covers most of the day."
The health and safety protocols involved Mr Morrison and his staffer being dropped at the front entrance of The Lodge with their luggage before they entered the "red zone".
Only the PM and Taylor are allowed in the red zone, which includes the bedrooms, lounge room and "comms room" where virtual summits, broadcasting and parliamentary business takes place.
The zone has been stocked with cleaning supplies, fresh linen, fresh towels and standard toiletries for use during quarantine.
Other staff are allowed in the "yellow zone", which covers the main kitchen and laundry, with the drop zone restricted to deposit and collect essential items and documents.
Not even the AFP guarding the premises are allowed in to the red or yellow zones, unless there is a security issue.
Under the protocols, Mr Morrison must remain "outside the dining room" until the drop - usually food or documents - takes place with the event flagged in advance via a WhatsApp message.
Those handling laundry and crockery must wear a face mask, shield and gloves with the protective equipment disposed in supplied contaminated waste disposal units.
Pre-prepared meals, snacks and beverages have been placed in a kitchenette in the upstairs sitting room, which also has basic cooking appliances, as well as a coffee machine.
As for laundry, the protocols state that personal items must be placed in a water-soluble laundry strip bag before it is transported to the drop zone.
At the end of the 14 day quarantine, Mr Morrison - who will be joined by another staff member next week - will have another COVID test at The Lodge before he will be free to leave.
However, the quarantine period will "reset" to "day zero" should there is a positive test by anyone in quarantine.
Upon touching down in Canberra, Mr Morrison was handed a mask before he was whisked away directly to The Lodge along with his staffer.
Originally published as ScoMo's iso life in lockdown at The Lodge