A GOLD Coast healthcare worker in a Victorian quarantine hotel for breaching border restrictions claims she is now facing "defamatory" attacks on social media.

Tweed radiology worker and mum Gemma Mai has been in quarantine in Melbourne since flying into the state on Monday, when she was detained for having been in NSW within the past 14 days.

Ms Mai lives a block away from the Gold Coast and Queensland border but on the NSW side. She has said she mistakenly thought she would be ok to get into Victoria because she had overnighted in a Gold Coast hotel before depatrture.

But her enforced quarantine has now left her cut off from returning to her job and also her 11-year-old son, who is currently staying with his grandparents.

She told the Bulletin on Tuesday the experience on arrival into Victoria left her feeling "like a criminal".

Now the former Miss Supercars contestant claims she is considering legal action against "a mate's ex-girlfriend" over social media comments on the situation.

Their bickering includes screenshotted messages between Ms Mai and the friend referencing travel plans, as well as claims that Ms Mai had attempted to dodge border restrictions despite being "well aware" of Victorian rules.

"She has hacked (my friend's) phone and shared his messages with me all over the place," Ms Mai said.

Gemma Mai. Picture: Jerad Williams
Gemma Mai. Picture: Jerad Williams

"I've finally got in touch with him and told him he needs to contact the police. She's screenshotted all his messages from before I was travelling.

"She thinks there's something going on with me and him and has this vendetta."

The woman involved has contacted the Bulletin saying she believed Ms Mai was "well aware" she would breach quarantine rules when flying out from the Gold Coast.

Ms Mai said her case is still under review by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, adding the social media backlash has taken a toll.

"I've gone from a positive note, finding my case has been escalated, to being contacted by someone I know about these comments," she said.

"I just burst into tears.

"I'm in no way trying to get my five minutes of fame, I'm just trying to get my voice heard along with the four other people in the same situation.

"You don't have to bring someone down in this situation."


A HEALTHCARE worker "detained" in hotel quarantine when flying into Victoria from the Gold Coast thought she was "doing everything right" in a Glitter Strip hotel - hours before being stopped at the border.

Radiology worker Gemma Mai told the Bulletin on Monday she genuinely believed she understood border rules when she flew from Gold Coast Airport to Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport on January 1.

But she was immediately stopped on arrival by health and border authorities who forced her into hotel quarantine for a fortnight at her expense.

Ms Mai lives one street over from the Queensland border in Tweed - so technically in NSW - but had been staying on the Gold Coast since January 1 believing that would avoid the border shutdown installed by Victoria on NSW.

But her NSW address meant she actually could not enter Victoria to visit her friend temporarily or return home to her 11-year-old son and Tweed job.

In a video posted to social media just days before her flight, as excited Ms Mai said: "I've checked into my hotel before lockout of NSW into Victoria, so I'm here in Queensland for two days.

"So nice. I'll see you soon Melbourne."

Ms Mai in her quarantine hotel. Photo: Supplied
Ms Mai in her quarantine hotel. Photo: Supplied

Ms Mai, now in her quarantine hotel in Victoria, on Tuesday claimed her case had been escalated by Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services.

When detained on arrival into Melbourne, she later described the experience as feeling similar to being a "criminal": "I felt like a criminal, escorted to the toilet at the airport, put on a bus and was practically waiting for them to hand me a green prison jumpsuit. Cops, army and 20 people at the hotel looking at you."

Her actions have been criticised on social media by Gold Coast Bulletin readers whilst others claim the rules are too stringent and there should be more discretion.

Angela Hunter said: "This is stupid, she knew the borders had closed two days before her flight.

"She knew she is technically a NSW resident. If she felt separated from her son why leave in the first place?

"She's just annoyed she's spending her holiday in quarantine instead of out clubbing."

John wrote: "The last time I looked at a map the southern side of the border is NSW. Does not matter if you live 500 metres or 500 kilometres from it."

Others were more sympathetic, labelling border restrictions "overbearing".

Seymour wrote: "The rules are overbearing and are not proportionate to the risk. This is all about grandstanding and protecting politician's reputations."

Brian wrote: "CCP Dictator Dan strikes again, I live in Tweed Heads and I am allowed to enter Queensland provide I have not been in any of the NSW hotspots In the past 14 days. Morrison is weak for allowing Victoria to make different rules."

Originally published as Coast quarantine mum claims 'defamatory' social media attacks

Ms Mai has been caught up at the Victorian border and is now stuck in quarantine for 14 days. Photo: Instagram
Ms Mai has been caught up at the Victorian border and is now stuck in quarantine for 14 days. Photo: Instagram

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