A furious Victorian man who was fined $19,000 after attempting to flee hotel quarantine has vowed he will sue the state government.
John-Lee Berridge insists he had a travel exemption which would allow him to quarantine at his mother’s home in Werribee after arriving in Melbourne from Sydney on December 21, hours after Victoria shut its borders to Victorian residents, 7News reported.
Instead he was placed in the Holiday Inn Hotel in Tullamarine and was forced to spend Christmas in hotel quarantine after he was deemed to be a Sydney resident.
Sydney residents were given until midnight on December 20 to enter the state.
Mr Berridge previously told 7News he had been living in Maroubra after being unable to return home to Melbourne during the second wave of the virus.
He holds a Victorian drivers licence with his Sydney address on it.
Man had ‘struggled to cope in hotel quarantine’
Mr Berridge told 7News he was struggling to cope inside hotel quarantine and on Boxing Day, he tried to escape the facility.
However, he was quickly apprehended by police and subsequently fined and moved to a different location.
His dramatic arrest was caught on camera, showing a struggle in the hotel’s car park.
On Monday he was released and was quick to seek legal action regarding his period inside hotel quarantine.
“I’ve been working it through with the lawyer, he said I’ve got a solid case after everything that I’ve been through and all the documentation I’ve got,” he told the Herald Sun.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to has said ‘don’t let it slip away’ because that’s what the department of health are thinking that I’m just going to brush it off.”
He is refusing to pay his fine or a potential hotel quarantine fee.
Yahoo News Australia has contacted the Department of Health and Human Services regarding Mr Berridge’s claims he was wrongly placed in hotel quarantine.
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