Four Sydney children are expected to be granted a border pass to visit their dying father in Queensland, in an exception to the sunshine state’s hardline policies.
Brisbane man Mark Keans was cut off from his family, including his four Sydney-based children aged under 13, by the state’s COVID-19 health restrictions.
The 39-year-old has terminal brain cancer and had been facing the heartbreaking decision about which of his children he would say goodbye to after health officials denied all but one an exemption to see him.
But an agreement is expected to be finalised on Friday permitting the family to reunite.
Queensland Health told AAP overnight they have been working closely with Mr Keans’ family to finalise a formal agreement.
A relative told Sky News the family had been offered a deal which included entry to Queensland and a police escort to the hospital for supervised visits with Mr Keans, while wearing protective equipment.
AAP was told multiple members of Mr Keans’ family made exemption applications for a visit that were under consideration by Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young.
“Queensland’s current border restrictions are in place for one purpose – to save lives,” a health spokeswoman said.
“Health directions in place are strict, but they are designed to protect Queenslanders from COVID-19.”
Earlier, Dr Young told reporters exemptions are regularly given for people to come to Queensland to see dying relatives or close friends.
“But they need to come into quarantine if they come from hotspots,” she said.
Her comments come after Sarah Caisip, 26, was denied permission to leave quarantine for her father’s funeral on Thursday.
The Canberra woman wrote a scathing letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk after she applied for an exemption to visit her dying father, which wasn’t approved until two days after his death.
Her case became national news on Thursday when Prime Minister Scott Morrison made a personal plea for her to be allowed to attend the funeral.
Despite this, she was only allowed to leave quarantine to make her final farewell at a private viewing after the service.
Under Queensland’s health measures all of NSW, the ACT and Victoria are considered virus hotspots.
Unrelated but so relatable! Listen to this interesting moment from Robin, Terry & Bob here: