What Christmas Day lunch looked like in quarantine
A 45-minute flight to visit grandparents interstate for Christmas has turned into a COVID horror for a young Queensland family who spent most of Christmas Day in hotel quarantine almost within sight of their Brisbane home.
Lara and Michael Anderson were put in hotel quarantine with their two-year-old daughter Maxie after a flight delay stranded them in Newcastle.
Ms Anderson said the trio had headed to Newcastle then Avoca Beach on Saturday to be part of a family Christmas with her grandparents when the Sydney Northern Beaches cluster emerged, which was later backdated to include the NSW Central Coast.
She said the family desperately changed their return flight to the next available seats on Monday, not soon enough to avoid quarantine but inside the window that would mean self-isolating at home in West End for 14 days.
But when the Monday night flight was delayed then cancelled after a long wait at the airport in the rain, they could not arrive back in Brisbane until Tuesday.
It meant under Queensland's hardline border rules, the family could not self-quarantine in their home but were instead met at the airport and taken directly to the Mantra hotel and facing a $4500 bill.
After days in the hotel, including all of Christmas Eve and most of Christmas Day, Queensland Health on Friday granted the family an exemption from hotel quarantine, instead allowing them to quarantine at home by mid-afternoon.
Originally published as What Christmas Day lunch looked like in quarantine