Dying woman knocked back as celebs waved through
A terminally ill woman whose request to quarantine with her Queensland family was twice rejected by health officials has slammed the state's double standards.
Country Victorian farmer Bree McQuilty has stage-four melanoma and is terrified of having to spend two weeks in quarantine alone at a hotel, but her request to quarantine with her mother at Wellington Point southeast of Brisbane has been knocked back twice, even after she offered to pay for private security to enforce her isolation.
The 40-year-old's home community of Corack East has not had a single case of coronavirus during the pandemic, but she has had to travel to Melbourne for cancer treatment.
The rejection of her application for private quarantine comes after criticism of celebrities including Hollywood star Tom Hanks, Masked Singer judge Dannii Minogue and hundreds of AFL identities who were allowed to bypass standard hotel quarantine, while others have been denied last goodbyes to dying family members.
Ms McQuilty has presented letters from her oncologist explaining that her compromised immune system would be at major risk from having to quarantine in a hotel where infected patients may also be staying.
However it has not been enough to convince Queensland Health officials to grant an exemption.
"I'm not upset about the protocol and I'm not asking to avoid quarantine," Ms McQuilty said.
"I just want to see my family, and they want to see me.
"The region I live in has seen zero cases throughout the entire pandemic, and the only time I have been to a hot spot (Melbourne) was because I was going to hospital to try and save my life."
Ms McQuilty said if it was good enough for Minogue - who reportedly suffers claustrophobia - to avoid hotel quarantine, it should be good enough for her.
"I don't like being cooped up either," she said.
"I live on a farm - my nearest neighbours are 4km away."
Her shattered mother Sandra Graham said it was heartbreaking knowing her daughter was going through her cancer battle away from her Queensland family.
"When her latest application was rejected I drove around crying for five hours," she said.
"We know there are rules, but if celebrities or football players can avoid the standard quarantine there is scope for our exceptional circumstances.
"We've got seven-foot fences around our place and there's no way I would let her out anyway because I don't want her catching the virus."
In a statement, a spokeswoman for Queensland Health did not comment on the specifics of Ms McQuilty's case, but said restrictions were in place for a reason.
"Our border restrictions and quarantine requirements are only in place to slow the spread of COVID-19," the statement said.
"We understand this can be difficult for many, but it is necessary to save lives."