Charlotte Brown, Eric Brown (father) and Sarah-Jane Brown.
Charlotte Brown, Eric Brown (father) and Sarah-Jane Brown.

'Hoping for miracle': Daughters denied entry for funeral

WHEN Eric Brown died two weeks ago his family were faced with a difficult decision.

Daughters Sarah-Jane and Charlotte were living in the COVID hot spots of Canberra and Sydney and were unlikely to get approval to cross into Queensland to see their dad laid to rest.

The family phoned Queensland Health and applied for an exemption.

Mother Catherine Brown said the operator told the family at least five times that they would get an exemption.

Despite delaying the funeral for two weeks to allow for the application to run its course the family were told late last week that it was rejected.

"I'm not asking for any special favours," Mrs Brown said.

"All I'm asking is that my daughters be allowed to say goodbye to their father in person, as opposed to watching his funeral online."

Sarah-Jane and Charlotte were turned back after they tried to cross the border at Goondiwindi last night.

"They will wait in Moree, hoping for a miracle," Mrs Brown said.

For its part Queensland Health had no record of that earlier exemption offer.

Queensland Health quarantine exemptions are rare.

They must meet strict criteria and are assessed by Queensland's Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young.

From June 18 to August 7, Queensland Health received 10,500 requests for exemptions from quarantine and less than 40 met the criteria for exceptional circumstance to quarantine outside of government-nominated accommodation.

They have exceeded what would be required in hotel quarantine by employing additional medical, security and safety requirements administered by a trusted third party.

"Our thoughts are with those who have lost a loved one during this unprecedented time," a Queensland Health spokeswoman said.

"We absolutely understand and sympathise that this is a very difficult time to navigate.

"And we understand the health directions in place are strict, but they are designed to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19."


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