Ebene News – UA – How Dannii Minogue’s quarantine exemption caused an outage

Celebrity Dannii Minogue’s successful attempt to quarantine in a private home after arriving from California prompted backlash in the Queensland Prime Minister’s Office from returning Australians who were pay hotel quarantine, reveal documents

The correspondence also reveals that the Queensland government’s decision has caused confusion among police officers tasked with enforcing the state’s strict quarantine regime

The exemption process to end the mandatory quarantine at home for 14 days, rather than in a hotel, was highlighted in July when The Masked Singer judge and his 10-year-old son, Ethan, came to light in July. been allowed to quarantine the Côte d’Or at home

More than 460 pages of documents, partially or fully redacted, were released to the Brisbane Times under the right to know, revealing details of the process for approving Minogue’s request

Documents show Queensland Health was approached in late June by an “independent third party” asking for permission to manage Minogue’s quarantine in a private residence

The proposal presented included 24/7 security, registration of all arrivals and departures, a COVID-safe plan, a transit plan between the airport and the home address, and the results of the COVID test -19 sent to Gold Coast Public Health Unit

At the time, Queensland Health Director Jeannette Young said some people in the film and television industry, as well as a number of other groups, including consular officials and defense personnel, had been allowed to avoid mandatory hotel stays if they had a suitable place for quarantine

The initial request to quarantine Minogue at home was made to Queensland Health on June 23 Details of the third party’s proposal have been redacted in the documents

On July 3, a senior medical adviser from Queensland Health recommended that Dr Young approve the exemption request for Minogue “as a proof of concept for private international quarantine”

The adviser’s email to Dr Young said Queensland Health had received “draft [redacted] documents on appeal for a private quarantine exemption”

The proposal “would facilitate the entry of key individuals traveling abroad for the entertainment, film and sports industries, particularly in the Gold Coast film and entertainment industry,” the email

“It is possible to support the recovery of an important industry in Queensland,” the email concluded, citing the successful transfer of teams from Melbourne AFL to Queensland

Minogue wasn’t the only celebrity to make his own quarantine arrangements, with Hollywood actor Tom Hanks being allowed to stay at a chosen hotel rather than a designated quarantine hotel when he arrived on the Gold Coast in September

In an interview with News Corp in August, Minogue, who suffers from claustrophobia, said she “took a long time to put it all together” to make sure Queensland Health was happy with her request

“I followed the book, I made sure my top priority was keeping everyone safe – everyone,” she said

Following media reports that revealed the arrangement, Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk’s office faced a backlash and sought help from the Ministry of Health to respond to it.

“Why is everyone turned away and is a famous and / or wealthy Australian allowed to be at home?” someone wrote to the prime minister

“What is the COVID-safe plan? Why can’t the general public have access to this approval either?”

Another asked why other returning travelers have to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine instead of being allowed to quarantine her at home

“Surely if this is good enough for Mrs. Minogue, we as returning residents should have the same option, right?”

A staff member in the Prime Minister’s Office wrote to Queensland Health asking for advice on how to respond and if there were “standard words that can be used”

“Could you tell us if this is the case, and if not, could we ask for advice on responding to correspondence of this nature?”

On July 14, Dr Young said Minogue had not been exempted from mandatory quarantine, but simply forced to “quarantine in a different location” and that there was “no special treatment for no one “

“[Minogue] has a COVID security plan that is managed by an independent third party, which is why it got this exemption,” Dr Young said

A socially distant Dannii Minogue (right) on the set of The Masked Singer after her stay in quarantineCredit: Network 10

“There is no cost to the state, to the government of Queensland She is funding all these arrangements

“There are a number of people in this category to whom I have granted an exemption because they have put in place agreements with third parties which I am convinced meet all the requirements that we have put in place for the quarantine of hotels “

A spokesperson for Queensland Health said only one international traveler had been granted a quarantine exemption at home since November 1

It was granted two months before their trip and “would not have been approved under the current circumstances”

“We have set up specialist suites in government-furnished accommodation, which allows people with complex medical needs to self-quarantine,” the spokesperson said

The spokesperson said that since June the ministry had received 34,774 exemption requests “including requests to enter Queensland from interstate, quarantine at home, visit dying relative or attending a private visit of a deceased person “

“During this period 104 home quarantine requests were approved The vast majority were for people coming from one state to another and most were approved based on the complex health needs of the applicants,” said the spokesperson

“Our quarantine policies have changed significantly since June to reflect the increasing number of cases worldwide and the threat of new variants”

The Minogue case also confused Queensland police, who were tasked with random checks to ensure people remained in quarantine

On July 14, a detective superintendent of the COVID-19 Compliance Management Task Force emailed the state Health Emergency Coordination Center asking for details of the arrangements quarantine of Minogue

“This morning the Minister of Health confirmed in the media that Ms. Danielle Minogue had obtained a ‘special exemption’ from hotel quarantine and that she was currently in self-quarantine on the Gold Coast,” said the email

“The attached document shows Ms Minogue’s QPS records transiting through Brisbane Airport on July 11, 2020, but details of the ‘special exemption’ were not provided to Task Force Sierra Linnet

“Can Queensland Health provide information to the Sierra Linnet Working Group on the conditions of Ms. Minogue’s self-quarantine, a copy of the self-quarantine instructions and details of who will be responsible for verification of compliance in this regard

“This responsibility has traditionally rested with Task Force Sierra Linnet where people are self-quarantined in the community, but we are not currently aware of any arrangements made between Q-Health and Ms Minogue”

A staff member from the Chief Medical Officer of Health’s office responded two days later by forwarding an email with these details, originally sent to the Queensland Police Department on July 10

“Ms. Minogue’s quarantine is handled by [redacted] in accordance with a detailed health and safety plan, including 24/7 onsite private security, keeping an activity log which is provided to the [Gold Coast] Public Health Unit Due to the confidentiality of this plan, it will not be shared at this time, “the staff member wrote.

“All parties have been advised that QPS may undertake random compliance verification during the quarantine period”

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Lucy is an urban affairs reporter for the Brisbane Times, with a special interest in Brisbane City Council

Stuart Layt covers health, science and technology for the Brisbane Times He was once the Queensland political reporter for AAP

Dannii Minogue

Ebene News – UA – How Dannii Minogue’s quarantine exemption triggered an outage

Source: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/queensland/dannii-minogue-s-quarantine-exemption-sparked-traveller-anger-and-police-confusion-20201229-p56qmw.html