A grieving daughter trapped in hotel quarantine has slammed Queensland Health’s “solution” to her problem of being unable to attend her dad’s funeral.
A grieving daughter trapped in hotel quarantine has slammed Queensland Health’s “solution” to her problem of being unable to attend her dad’s funeral.

Daughter can view body, but still can’t go to funeral

A grieving daughter trapped in quarantine in Queensland will be taken under police escort today to see her father's body but will be banned from attending the funeral with her 11-year-old sister.

The heartbreaking "solution" to a bitter row over the plight of the family was announced today by Queensland Health after a war of words between the Prime Minister and the Queensland Premier.

But it threatened to descend into a media circus after the woman was banned from attending the funeral with her family.

Canberran Sarah Caisip, 26, remains in quarantine after she travelled to Queensland to spend time with her father during his final days but he died before she could get out.

Her father's funeral was scheduled for 2pm on Thursday but she was told in the hours leading up to the funeral that she could not attend.

RELATED: PM close to tears in intense interview

Sarah Caisip (left) is desperate to leave hotel quarantine for a few hours on Thursday afternoon to attend her father Bernard Prendergast’s funeral and to comfort her younger sister Isobel, 11. Picture: News Regional Media
Sarah Caisip (left) is desperate to leave hotel quarantine for a few hours on Thursday afternoon to attend her father Bernard Prendergast’s funeral and to comfort her younger sister Isobel, 11. Picture: News Regional Media

Health Minister Greg Hunt again urged the Queensland Premier to allow her to attend wearing a mask.

"Obviously, I think, the most sensible and sensitive and compassionate thing to do with regard to Sarah's case is if in a COVID-safe way, obviously, masked and with any other appropriate distancing, Sarah were able to attend the full funeral, I think that would be the most humane, compassionate thing to do,'' he said.

Ms Caisip has written a heartbreaking letter to the Queensland Premier after she was unable to cross the border to spend time with him during his final days.

"My dad is dead and you made me fight to see him, but it was too late and now you won't let me go to his funeral or see my devastated 11-year-old sister," Ms Caisip said.

"You won't listen and your government is destroying my life.

"Now you are preventing me from going to view his body, which is a very important tradition for me, and also preventing me from going to his funeral this Thursday, even though I am in Brisbane in hotel quarantine and only a few kilometres away.

"I came from virus-free Canberra, so the fact that I'm even in quarantine is beyond belief but the fact that I am being denied my basic human rights to care for my grief-stricken mother and little 11-year-old sister enrages, disgusts and devastates me at the same time.

"My little sister is now without my support and I will never forgive you."

Just after noon, Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young said she would be let out of hotel quarantine for a private viewing of the body.

The exemption to attend the funeral was not granted.

RELATED: Premier accuses PM of 'bullying' her

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was close to tears talking about the case on radio this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison was close to tears talking about the case on radio this morning. Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Earlier, the Prime Minister confirmed this morning he had called Ms Palaszczuk and demanded she take action to allow the woman to skip quarantine so she can attend the funeral which is taking place this afternoon.

"I've appealed to her to overrule the decision,'' Mr Morrison told 4BC radio.

"That would allow Sarah to go to the funeral today. It's not about borders. It's not about politicians. It's not about elections. The only thing that matters today is that Sarah can be with her 11 year old sister Isobel and her mother while they mourn the passing of their husband Bernard."

Both Mr Morrison and radio broadcaster Ray Hadley were in on the verge of tears during the emotional interview as they discussed their own father's deaths.

"Sadly she wasn't able to see her father before he passed. All of us who have been through that process know how important that is. It's still fresh in my mind,'' he said.

Mr Morrison continued on the verge of tears after pausing as he discussed her being in hotel quarantine on Father's Day.

"Surely, just this once, this can be done,'' he said.

"There have been no COVID cases in Canberra for 60 days. I've done all I can."

RELATED: 'Prisoners': Dutton hits out at border rules

Sarah Caisip will miss her father’s funeral because she is stuck in hotel quarantine. Picture: Supplied
Sarah Caisip will miss her father’s funeral because she is stuck in hotel quarantine. Picture: Supplied

But one Queensland Government source told news.com.au "He wasn't bloody crying when he rang the Premier and berated her,'' he said.

"It's not her call. It's the chief health officers. The PM rang and said, "You will do this. She had to remind him it was "R U OK? day."

In Parliament, the Queensland Premier accused the Prime Minister of bullying her over borders.

"I will not be bullied, nor will I be intimidated by the Prime Minister,'' she said.

Originally published as Daughter can view body, can't go to funeral



What will La Nina deliver for CQ?

Premium Content What will La Nina deliver for CQ?

“There is also the chance of an increased number of cyclones during the season.”

On the dotted line: State set to sign $10m port agreement

Premium Content On the dotted line: State set to sign $10m port agreement

GPC spokesperson said this opportunity would bring jobs, growth and international...

Woman taken to hospital after bodysurfing incident

Premium Content Woman taken to hospital after bodysurfing incident

Research shows it is 7.9 times more likely to be injured body surfing than...