Just over a week ago Sarah Kiermaier was working as a nurse in the centre of London, grappling with the decision of whether to return home to Canberra.
One of more than 40,000 Australians living in the city of almost 9 million, the 32-year-old is now in quarantine after boarding the final international flight into the ACT last Saturday.
She said the Monday Boris Johnson announced lockdown laws in the UK, she decided to return from her four-year stint overseas a few months early.
Ms Kiermaier said watching the flight options disappear while she considered whether to leave reinforced the need to act fast.
"I knew at that point I wanted to go home. It was quite unsettling thinking that I might not be able to get out. That's what made my decision," she said.
The seven Canberra residents on the flight from London to Doha, then home via Sydney, were in the sky when Scott Morrison announced last Friday all overseas arrivals would have to quarantine in hotels.
Later that evening, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the Canberrans arriving on Ms Kiermaier's Qatar Airways flight would be quarantined in the Burbury Hotel in Barton, despite the Prime Minister's official position "as soon as possible, but no later than 11:59pm Saturday".
The following morning Acting Chief Health Officer Dr Vanessa Johnston met separately with the passengers and their families to let them know they'd have to wait a little longer for a reunion.
She also announced a new plan to have their health and homes assessed over the weekend to decide whether they could continue their 14-day quarantine at home.
On Monday, ACT Health released five of the passengers having completed their assessments of the suitability over the phone during the weekend. Two will spend the fortnight in the hotel.
This week, ACT Health made daily contact with the returned travellers via calls or SMS, although no check-ups were made at their homes.
Ms Kiermaier said since moving into the granny flat on her parents property she has been enjoying lunch with her mum from either sides of the patio. A relief after being hustled "out the backdoor" past her at the airport.
"Yeah that was hard," Ms Kiermaier said over the phone this week.
"As much as I accept the situation and that this was the best thing for everyone, I still just wanted to wave to my mum."
Under much stricter stay-at-home measures than most of us, Ms Kiermaier has busied herself with learning cross-stitch, video chats with friends and updating her resumes to return to work in Canberra.
She said while she'll go where she's most needed, working at a hospital while living with her parents and grandma has played on her mind.
"The biggest concern is potentially putting them at risk - of course I'm not the only one in that position," she said.
Ms Kiermaier said in the two weeks prior to her departure from London restrictions on movement had grown increasingly tighter, though it wasn't until the London Underground reduced services and gatherings were limited to two people on March 23 that "it got really serious."
"I had to make a really quick decision. I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to any of my friends or the people I worked with, except those who were on that day," she said.
In her role as a paediatric emergency nurse, she'd been instructed to treat each cold like it could be coronavirus. She said she's taken many swabs in those last couple of days but hadn't been around to find out the results.
Back in Australia, Ms Kiermaier said she has nothing but praise for ACT Health and the sympathy showed when they were whisked off to quarantine.
"Getting off the plane felt like I was really coming home," she said. "Canberra is such a small community and that's how it felt."
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