Coast man considers suing state over Christmas quarantine
A 66-year-old man may pursue legal action against the state government after being forced to spend Christmas Day alone in quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.
Noosa's Scott Thorson was returning from a business trip in Wollongong at lunchtime on Tuesday, December 22 with the knowledge his border pass did not expire until the next day.
However when he arrived at the Queensland border he was advised the Queensland Government had changed the border status on the back of a spike in NSW COVID-19 cases.
He could either go back to NSW or go into Queensland quarantine for two weeks.
"I was in Wollongong, the nearest COVID case was about 50kms away," he said.
Mr Thorson has spent in excess of $3000 for his two-week quarantine at the Marriott Hotel on Queen St.
He checked in on Tuesday afternoon, December 22 and will be there until Tuesday, January 5.
Mr Thorson is not allowed any visitors and may only open the hotel door for food deliveries.
The forced isolation was a tough way to spend Christmas Day for the 66 year old.
"I just want to come home," he said.
"My wife is devastated, she is lonely."
Mr Thorson submitted an exemption request to Queensland Health on the basis he did not travel to any COVID hot spot areas while interstate.
It was denied.
He was advised "we all have an obligation to follow the directions as set down by the Chief Health Officer" by the Health Directions Exemption Service on Saturday, December 26.
Despite the rejected exemption request, Mr Thorson is not giving up and he is determined to be back home to spend New Year's Eve with his wife.
He has since contacted the Queensland Ombudsman and sought the advice of a solicitor.
A Queensland Health spokesman advised their priority was "keeping Queenslanders safe and keeping transmission out of our community."
"Along with stringent border controls, social distancing and robust testing, quarantine is one of the most important tools in the fight to keep Queenslanders safe from COVID-19," the spokesman said.