Grieving Qld parents stuck in Melbourne

Marty Silk
·2-min read

Queensland Health is yet to approve a quarantine exemption request from two grieving parents trying to get back into the state after their toddler died in Melbourne.

Queenslanders Leah and Morgan Collins' three-year-old son Thomas died in a Melbourne hospital where he was being treated on Saturday.

They applied for an quarantine exemption on compassionate grounds, so their son could die in his home state, at 5.17pm on Friday.

Queensland Health approved the exemption the following morning but Thomas died later that day.

The Collins' have reportedly requested another exemption to return to Queensland to grieve with their family but it's yet to be granted.

Queensland Health says the family has been offered bereavement care through Queensland Children's Hospital.

"We extend our deepest and most heartfelt condolences to the family during this incredibly difficult time," the department said in a statement sent to AAP.

Officials maintain the border provisions were in place for good reason but add that the health advice is being amended and updated as the circumstances of the pandemic change.

"Queensland's quarantine guidelines are in place for one reason - to save lives," the department said.

"We are constantly reviewing and amending our directions, to ensure we safely balance and protect the Queensland community."

Opposition health spokeswoman Ros Bates called for the state government to release their reasons if they deny the Collins' second exemption request.

"If the information is given that says this is why that decision was made people in Queensland will accept that," Ms Bates said.

"It's the uncertainty of not knowing and we don't want to see more families going through grief, just like young Thomas' family."

Queensland is set to reopen to visitors from Sydney and Victoria within 10 days.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says COVID-19 hotspots must go for 28 days with no new cases of community transmission before people there can freely visit the state.

Any new cases must be linked with existing cases within 48 hours of emerging or the border clock is reset.

Ms Berejiklian says she's confused by the rule, which is unique to Queensland Health.

"So again I just ask other premiers to consider some compassion because I know when I'm visiting communities and people come up to me and burst into tears when they think about the fact that they can't visit their relatives," she said on Monday.

But federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese praised Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's handling of COVID-19.

"I reckon Annastacia Palaszczuk's doing a great job," he told Sky News on Monday.

"One of the things that I won't do, and you've seen Labor oppositions not do, is make partisan political comments.

"No one wants to see restrictions in place but restrictions have made Queenslanders safe.

"I want to be able to travel and I want Australians to travel. I know Annastacia Palaszczuk does too."