Boy, 3, to be reunited with family after Queensland premier relents

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A three-year-old boy stuck in NSW will be reunited with his family in Queensland after months of being separated by border closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Memphis Francis, 3, has been stuck in Griffith, in regional NSW on his grandparents' cattle farm since July 9, separated from his parents in Queensland.

Queensland declared all of NSW a Covid hotspot and slammed the border shut on July 23.

His mother, Dominique Facer, expressed how much she missed him on Facebook on Wednesday.

“You can see how much my boy loves his mama, the way he pulls me in to give me a kiss, he sure is one of the good ones,” she wrote.

Memphis Francis has been stuck in NSW since July, while his parents were across the border in Queensland. Source: Facebook
Memphis Francis has been stuck in NSW since July, while his parents were across the border in Queensland. Source: Facebook

Ms Facer told The Courier Mail Memphis was crying on the phone and wanted to come home to Queensland.

"Every day there is just no hope," she said. 

"We are in a situation now where I literally just don’t know when I am going to see my son again.”

However, on Thursday, Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young confirmed Memphis will be reunited with his parents again soon, with an exemption being made, after his parents made an application last week.

"Of course he's been given an exemption, we wouldn't leave a child in another state," she said on Thursday, however, she claimed the family never made an application for an exemption. 

The Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed to parliament this morning Memphis would be allowed to cross the border to be reunited with his family.

"I am advised that the exemptions unit have spoken to his parents and they are processing and talking to them about that exemption," she said.

Queensland may delay easing restrictions over concerns for kids

On Thursday, Ms Palaszczuk signalled she could delay easing restrictions once Covid-19 vaccination coverage targets are hit due to concerns about unvaccinated children.

Annastacia Palaszczuk says she won't commit to immediately easing Covid-19 restrictions when coverage hits 70 per cent and then 80 per cent.

She says she's waiting for the prime minister to provide modelling on what will happen to infants and children up to 12 years of age if restrictions are eased at that point.

"At the last national cabinet meeting I actually raised the issue of children, and the prime minister undertook to get some further work done," Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Thursday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Brisbane, Thursday, September 2, 2021.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk expressed concern for unvaccinated children. Source: AAP

No vaccines approved for kids under 12

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the national plan was always aimed at protecting all Australians from the virus, including children.

He said the suggestion kids hadn't been considered in the plan was "false", and added that no vaccinations had been approved for children under the age of 12 anywhere in the world.

"In fact, I think the best response in a way is what has been written by Queensland Health in their COVID-19 and Kids: What you need to Know document dated 5 August, 2021: serious illness remains extremely rare in children," Mr Hunt told reporters.

"I also quote: 'Even children with serious underlying conditions will mostly only experience a mild illness with COVID-19'."

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