Greek Australian woman to miss father’s funeral due to border restrictions

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A Melbourne woman will miss her father’s funeral in Adelaide on Wednesday after repeatedly being rejected to travel.

Mary Kalantzis’ father Michael Katsabas died at Queen Elizabeth Hospital last week after a long illness. Trying desperately to obtain compassionate leave from SA health authorities to travel there, she was repeatedly rejected.

Speaking to The Advertiser, Mary says her request has now been approved a week after her father passed, yet the Greek Australian woman felt it was too late to say goodbye to her father.

“It’s been a week now since my father passed away. He’s sitting in a morgue, and yesterday I got a letter from SA Health stating if I want to come, I have to go to a hotel and stay for 14 days and quarantine,” she said.

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“Would you allow your father to stay in a morgue for three weeks?

“I just couldn’t do it to my mother.”

Ms Kalantzis, who is originally from South Australia and runs a business there, said if she was approved for travel when her father took a turn for the worst, she could have flown there and undertaken the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

“I begged them and begged them,” she said.

“I asked them for a compassionate letter because they said to me he wasn’t looking good.

“The doctors wouldn’t get back to me, I kept repeatedly calling.

“Eventually, that afternoon he sadly passed away.

“If they said yes to me on that Tuesday, I would’ve quarantined for two weeks from Tuesday and my dad would only be in the morgue for two weeks.”

She has written to the SA Health Minister, Premier and Prime Minister to help her plight. She is pinning hopes on a flight on Wednesday afternoon that will enable her to attend the service alongside her mother and two sisters.

Exemptions for funeral travel are considered on a case-by-case basis in “very exceptional circumstances”. If approved, 14 days quarantine is required on arrival before attending the funeral.

Sourced By: The Advertiser

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