A woman from Melbourne is waiting in Adelaide for one last resort to say goodbye to her father.
Mary Kalantzis’ father, Michael Katsabas, died last week after a long illness at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and is laid to rest on Wednesday.
She says she tried in vain to get compassionate leave from SA health authorities to fly there once her father took a turn in hospital last Tuesday but was denied repeatedly.
She was eventually allowed to fly there a week later but says it is too late now.
“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.
“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 originally comes from South Australia and runs a company there, said she should have flown there and endured the compulsory 14-day quarantine if she was allowed to fly when her father took a turn for the worse.
“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.”
Under new legislation that came in on Friday, Victorians may be given exemptions to join SA for end-of – life visits on compassionate grounds if the family member ‘s expected life expectancy is less than two weeks.
Exemptions for funeral travel in “extremely unusual cases” are considered on a case by case basis.
When accepted, a quarantine period of 14 days is required upon arrival before attending the funeral.