Son’s plea for home quarantine, visit dying father denied
A GOLD Coast airline industry executive claims hundreds like him are missing the chance to farewell dying loved ones because of the State Government's "inflexible" hotel quarantine policy.
Robina resident Adam Geneave, who works for a major airline, applied earlier this month for an exemption from hotel quarantine so he could visit his terminally-ill father in Randwick, Sydney, and return to the Gold Coast to look after his children at home.
Mr Geneave's application argued hotel quarantine would be unduly harsh as there would be no one to care for his three children on his return during school holidays while his wife was at her job working in aged care.
He also said quarantining in a hotel for 14 days would negatively impact his mental health and the cost would impose another burden for his family.
Mr Geneave claimed there was no significant community transmission in Randwick so there was little risk in granting his request to stay at home.
Queensland Health responded the following day with a two-line statement: "Thank you for your inquiry to Queensland Health, Public Health Directions. I am very sorry to learn of your fathers (sic) condition. I write to advise your request for an exemption has not been approved."
After the application was declined, Mr Geneave's father died.
Mr Geneave said the refusal denied him a chance to say goodbye to his father.
It also meant he would not be able to attend his father's funeral and would have to live stream the ceremony on Wednesday from home.
Mr Geneave said when he contacted Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office on the refusal he was referred to a call centre that told him they could not help.
"While I absolutely understand the need to have procedures in place to limit transmission, I was only seeking permission to conduct my quarantine at home which would not pose any greater threat in my view," he said.
"It's so disappointing that the way that Queensland is looking at these situations doesn't reflect the specific scenarios being presented and the needs of people to still move about the country."
He claimed that it was "impossible" to get a response from Queensland Health that explained the reason he was denied permission to quarantine at home.
"There are thousands of cases like mine. These are people that can't attend funerals because of the expense or they don't want to sacrifice time with their families with hotel quarantine."
A Queensland Health spokesperson said quarantine is the best and "one of our only defences against COVID-19 through this pandemic".
"The practice has kept Queenslanders safe during a time when the virus is at its height across the rest of the globe," the spokesperson said.
"Exemptions to hotel quarantine are rarely granted, and usually only in exceptional circumstances.
"In every situation where an exemption has been granted, the Chief Health Officer has been satisfied the same strict quarantine conditions that are required in government-arranged accommodation were able to be met."
The spokesperson said that people experiencing financial hardship can apply to have all or part of the quarantine fee waived.
Originally published as Son's plea for home quarantine, visit dying father not approved