Woman’s $4200 trip to see ailing mother in Sydney
A Sunshine Coast woman's three-week dash to Sydney to spend time with her critically ill mother has proved a $4200 exercise.
Maroochydore's Britt Lundgren travelled down to Sydney by car to nurse her 82-year-old mum, Gail, back to health after eight hours of surgery.
She claims to have followed the "strictest" COVID Safe Plan to the tee but now will spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine in Brisbane at her own expense and will fork out to get her car freighted home.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said a team of 80 people were assessing thousands of exemption requests every day.
She said she was personally assessing exemption requests when she was getting up to 100 a day but as the requests soared, she handed over the role to the new team.
"Every single one of those exemption requests are taken very seriously," she said.
Questions were put to the State Government regarding Mrs Lundgren's case but the department did not meet deadline.
Mrs Lundgren's trip was her fourth down to see her mother.
She questioned why she was allowed into an ICU room but not back into the state.
"Mum had to have life saving surgery, but because I was there, I was able to help her recover without having to do rehabilitation, so she is now at home," Mrs Lundgren said from isolation.
"I wouldn't trade what I did for the world, but I find it very frustrating that I can't isolate at home."
When she and her vehicle were denied a border pass to drive across the Queensland border, Mrs Lundgren had to fly into Brisbane, freight her car back to the Sunshine Coast and pay the $2800 hotel fees.
Mrs Lundgren, who works in the hospitality industry, said she had ticked all the safety requirements and was "99 per cent" sure she was COVID-free.
She said she was willing to wear an ankle tracking bracelet if it meant she could quarantine at home instead.
"I do not believe in opening the borders completely, but having some compromises for the majority of the good, law abiding citizens of Queensland, be it for medical, compassionate or just plain sensible reasons," she said.
"Both on the plane and coach to the hotel we were not able to socially distance.
"Imagine getting COVID as a result of having to quarantine."
Others have also been hit hard by Queensland's harsh border restrictions, including fly in, fly out and offshore workers not able to see their families.
"I am one of the lucky ones, at least I am in a hotel with a balcony," she said.
"You hear terrible stories of people in small rooms, without fresh air.
"The hotel staff and police have been very empathetic too."