Qld bans diplomatic hotel quarantine exemptions

Consular and diplomatic staff returning to Queensland from overseas or from interstate hotspots will now be banned from avoiding hotel quarantine.

It comes after a Government contractor used the loophole to enter the state from Afghanistan, via Sydney, before testing positive to coronavirus.

The man, aged in his 20s, was granted an exemption to quarantine at his home in Toowoomba due to national guidelines relating to consulate staff.


However Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the exemptions will no longer be allowed from Wednesday.

“Once again, Queensland will go it alone to protect Queenslanders,” the Premier said.

The Premier said she would like a nationally consistent approach but Queensland just can’t wait.

The state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young was of similar opinion and said she would act immediately.

“This exemption is a problem. We’ve seen that in Queensland this week,” she said.

“A person was able to arrive in Queensland from overseas on a consular exemption, and he had COVID-19.

“I am very grateful to this person, he did all the right things, but was granted an exemption from hotel quarantine.

“We can no longer allow this. With the high cases overseas, the risk is simply too high.”

Dr Young said from today exemptions to hotel quarantine will only be granted on extremely extenuating circumstances, in line with current arrangements for anyone entering Queensland from overseas or a hotspot.