New mandatory quarantine requirements on Brisbane travellers could become a logistical nightmare for Canberra's hotels, the head of the sector's peak body fears.
Australian Hotels Association ACT general manager Anthony Brierley has voiced concern after the government ordered anyone in Canberra who had been in greater Brisbane on or since January 2 to immediately enter 14 days' isolation.
The 14 days is backdated to when the individual was last in Brisbane.
The new direction - which was announced at 2.15pm on Friday and came into effect just 45 minutes later - was in reaction to widespread alarm about a case of the UK strain of the COVID-19 in Brisbane, which has triggered a three-day lockdown of the Queensland capital.
The ACT's quarantine requirement covers residents and travellers, some of whom would have been staying in one of Canberra's hotels during their visit.
Mr Brierley said hotels would face "logistical difficulties" if guests who had been in greater Brisbane in the past week were required to book extra nights to see out their two weeks in isolation.
"Some guests may not have the money to pay for further stays," Mr Brierley said.
"Some hotels may not have enough available rooms to accommodate any extensions."
Mr Brierley was concerned hotel staff would need to monitor their guests' compliance with isolation rules, in the absence of help from ACT Policing.
"This situation has changed rapidly and we're trying to react fast," he said.
"We're stepping up to play our part and we're in contact with the ACT government about how to resolve these issues."
Speaking at press conference on Friday afternoon, ACT chief health officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said she understood hotel operators might be anxious about hosting guests from COVID-19 hotspots, such as Brisbane or Sydney.
But Dr Coleman stressed the direction was put in place as a "precaution", as she urged hotels to honour bookings and continue to accept guests who were required to self-isolate.
Dr Coleman reassured visitors who had been ordered to quarantine the ACT government would help them find a room.
The Canberra Times sought clarification from the government about that offer, but did not receive a response before deadline.
Those ordered to isolate on Friday could be freed as soon as early next week, with Dr Coleman planning to review the rules on Monday.
She said it was highly likely people wouldn't be forced to complete their 14 days' quarantine if high levels of testing in the next few days in Brisbane showed there was only "very limited" transmission.
Dr Coleman and Chief Minister Andrew Barr urged people from Brisbane not to travel to Canberra.