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Man who tried to flee hotel quarantine to sue state government

A man who was caught attempting to flee hotel quarantine in Melbourne has insisted he did nothing wrong – and announced plans to sue the Victorian Government. John-Lee Berridge, who is originally from Melbourne but was living in Sydney last year, was busted as he tried to escape the Tullamarine Holiday Inn on Boxing Day…

A man who was caught attempting to flee hotel quarantine in Melbourne has insisted he did nothing wrong – and announced plans to sue the Victorian Government.

John-Lee Berridge, who is originally from Melbourne but was living in Sydney last year, was busted as he tried to escape the Tullamarine Holiday Inn on Boxing Day after flying to Avalon Airport on December 21, ahead of the midnight deadline for locals returning from NSW.

The 24-year-old told the Herald Sun he had a travel permit which allowed him to make the trip without quarantining, but that he was sent to the hotel regardless.

He claimed he spent five nights in hotel quarantine before attempting to leave due to anxiety, but was stopped by police officers in the carpark.

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He has now completed his fortnight of quarantine, and does not know whether he will have to pay for his stay in addition to a $19,000 fine for trying to flee.

However, he insisted he would not pay either bill.

“I’ve been working it through with the lawyer, he said I’ve got a solid case after everything that I’ve been through and all the documentation I’ve got,” he told the Herald Sun.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to has said ‘don’t let it slip away’ because that’s what the department of health are thinking that I’m just going to brush it off.”

Mr Berridge’s claims come after a NSW couple who fled Melbourne Airport in a bid to avoid quarantine last week apologised for their actions. It has been announced they will be slapped with a hefty fine of at least $38,000.

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Terry Elford, 26, and his wife Debbie Elford, 24, arrived in Melbourne on Friday morning on a flight from Canberra.

It’s claimed they then fled the airport, with Victoria Police spokeswoman Belinda Batty telling the Herald Sun: “They were spoken to by authorised officers and informed they would be required to quarantine for 14 days as per current CHO directions.

“The pair then ran from the officer, fleeing the airport and were picked up by a vehicle outside.”

And meanwhile, Jenny D’Ubios – an international traveller who allegedly fled hotel quarantine in Perth on Boxing Day after arriving in Australia from Spain – has pleaded not guilty and has been granted bail.

After allegedly walking out of the Pan Pacific Hotel, Ms D’Ubios allegedly caught a bus on Adelaide Terrace and dodged police for about 12 hours, including visits to Fremantle and Rockingham, before she checked herself into a hospital.

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