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‘Enormous toll’: Queensland refuses to budge on strict funeral stance

3 weeks ago 5

The Queensland government is refusing to budge on its strict rules about attending funerals, with the chief health officer saying the risk of COVID-19 spread is too high.

Pressure has mounted on the government after it refused to allow a grieving daughter to leave quarantine to attend her father’s funeral.

Queensland’s chief health officer Jeannette Young said there had already been several coronavirus clusters related to funerals in Sydney and she did not want to see that happen in Queensland.

“I understand the enormous toll this is taking on people who are coming here to Queensland to attend a funeral of a loved one, whether that be a relative or a friend,” she told reporters on Thursday.

“They can’t do that until they’ve been in quarantine for 14 days.”

Dr Young said the last thing she wanted was an outbreak at a funeral where there was likely to be older people in attendance.

“They’re a very, very risky environment for spread of the virus because of the nature of the service and what happens,” she said.

“We’ve now had several outbreaks in aged care facilities in Queensland that we’ve been able to control.

“I don’t want to see Queenslanders dying from COVID-19 that I could have prevented.”

However, people can have a private farewell at a funeral home if that can be arranged.

Dr Young said that had already happened in some cases.

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