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Quarantine hotel guests fume as health department holidays

Queensland Health has been asked to explain why an automated email response had been set up advising people with queries regarding hotel quarantine that they are on holidays for 10 days. People in hotel quarantine wanting an exemption had been directed to the Department Liaison Office (DLO) email address by Health staff, according to the…

Queensland Health has been asked to explain why an automated email response had been set up advising people with queries regarding hotel quarantine that they are on holidays for 10 days.

People in hotel quarantine wanting an exemption had been directed to the Department Liaison Office (DLO) email address by Health staff, according to the Courier Mail.

They were then met with automated responses which stated the mailbox was not being monitored due to a Christmas shutdown and that emails sent to the DLO account would not be replied to between December 25 and January 3.

In an automated response sent to NCA NewsWire, the email points those who feel unwell to call 13 HEALTH or triple-0 and recommended people with “further questions” to call the 134 COVID line.

“Please note we’re currently receiving a very high volume of inquiries,” the email read.

“If you’ve asked us for a response we’ll get back to you as soon as we can, but please understand responses may take some time.”

The email also points to different links on the government website if queries are related to COVID-19 restrictions or health advice.

Opposition Health spokeswoman Ros Bates has called on Health Minister Yvette D’Ath to explain why the “crucial email service” was not being monitored over the Christmas period.

“It seems that while people are stuck in hotel quarantine Labor’s health department is on holidays,” she said on 4BC Radio.

“I can understand how people are feeling helpless, frustrated and angry when you try to find out if your family members or loved ones can have a hotel quarantine exemption and be sent home when nobody is answering the emails.

“It’s ridiculous.”

A Queensland Health spokesperson said the exemptions team had responded to about 30 requests each day during the Christmas period.

“Despite 2020 being an incredibly challenging year, the exemptions team continues to work tirelessly over the holiday period, including on weekends and public holidays,” they said.

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