'Throw the book at them'
Alleged breaches at Melbourne's quarantine hotels should be dealt with by the full force of the law, Health Minister Greg Hunt says.
A security guard working at one of the city's hotels for returned travellers claims he was given just five minutes of training before starting the job.
"These are very serious allegations, and if they are found to be correct, the Victorian Government should throw the book at them," Mr Hunt told Today.
A judicial inquiry is now underway into alleged breaches of health safety protocols.
"These are cases that are clearly unacceptable, and it does appear that there may well have been practices that have been inappropriate and absolutely beyond what anybody would expect," Mr Hunt said.
In Melbourne, 36 suburbs are experiencing their first morning in lockdown today after a recent surge in coronavirus cases blamed on staff at hotels taking the virus home.
The cases stemming from the hotels was evidence of just how contagious COVID-19 was, Mr Hunt said.
The Black Lives Matter protests "changed people's approaches to restrictions" he said.
"People looked at a possible double standard," Mr Hunt said.
"We've then had the hotel quarantine breaches, and the genomics or at least the DNA fingerprint, which is - we've been able to analyse for these cases (it) shows that a large number have been traced back to the hotel quarantine breaches, which is why they've been so significant.
"What it does tell us is this is a highly infectious disease. It can pass very quickly. So, the distancing that we've talked about, that remains a fundamental part of it."