A Tasmanian woman denied an exemption to isolate from home after having neurosurgery says she has been shown no compassion.
Ashley Fuller, of Ulverstone, returned to the state from Melbourne on July 15 after having a tumour removed from her brain.
However, she said she was unaware she would be required to go into hotel quarantine because she was a Tasmanian resident.
Now about halfway through her mandatory two weeks isolation, she claims to have made close to 20 applications for an exemption on compassionate grounds through the state government's G2G Pass.
However, they have all been knocked back, despite a letter from her neurosurgeon advocating for "maximum consideration" for her to self-isolate from home.
From midnight on July 8, changes to Tasmania's border controls meant anyone entering the state from Victoria would be turned back. The only exemption would be Tasmanians returning home.
However, they would still be required to quarantine in a hotel for two weeks, unless granted an essential traveller status. The changes, which were announced by Premier Peter Gutwein hours before they came into effect, blindsided many Tasmanians - including Ms Fuller.
The 32-year-old flew to Melbourne on July 1, had surgery at the Alfred Hospital on July 3 and was discharged on July 8. She then spent a week self-isolating with her partner in a hotel, waiting for clearance from her doctor to return to Tasmania.
Unable to fly because of her surgery, the couple returned to the state on the Spirit of Tasmania and say they only heard about the quarantine changes from fellow travellers.
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"At that point we didn't know anything about having to apply to come back. We were under the impression we would be allowed back in because we are Tasmanian residents," she said.
"So we thought we would be allowed to do our quarantine at home, but that wasn't the case."
Despite living on the North-West Coast, the couple were transported to a quarantine hotel in Launceston. "There were about 15 other people on that bus and we were on it for three hours," she said.
Ms Fuller said they were advised to make an application for an exemption through the government's G2G Pass app. Introduced on July 16, the system replaces the previous online and paper-based process for essential travellers and is scanned by Biosecurity Tasmania officers at arrival ports.
However, if travelling from July 17 anyone with a previously approved essential traveller application were required to reapply. Ms Fuller said the process felt like a "roller coaster".
"It asks you to put in a date for wanting to come back, upload documents and each time you get a rejection it asks you to upload something else," she said. "So we'd go back and do it all again. Then something else comes up. It's just never-ending."
A State Control spokesperson said anyone applying for an exemption to hotel quarantine was required to provide strong documented evidence to support their application. However, they said exemptions were unlikely to be granted in the short term due to the "rapidly changing" circumstances in Victoria.
"Wherever possible, a humanitarian approach is taken to applications for exemptions for compassionate reasons including to attend funerals, on medical grounds or for end of life care," they said.
"It is acknowledged that throughout the response to COVID-19, some families have experienced difficult circumstances because of restrictions on gatherings, borders and other activities. However, on Public Health advice, the State Controller is unlikely to approve any application for an exemption when the applicant has spent time in a high-risk location."
Ms Fuller and her partner, who is also acting as her carer, have since been moved to a quarantine hotel in Devonport. The decision was prompted when she required a doctor to remove staples in her heard from surgery.
"They told us to arrange a time to meet my local GP. That was all the way in Ulverstone ... we were in Launceston at the time. I did all of that, but then I was told they didn't want me to travel," she said.
"In the end, they ended up getting a community nurse to come to the hotel to do it. It was horrible. I have vertigo. My stress levels are really high and my anxiety, depression... it's all sinking in now."
As of July 16, less than a quarter of applications for essential traveller status in Tasmania had been approved. Of the 3701 applications made on compassionate grounds, only 728 had been approved - less than 20 per cent. Health Minister Sarah Courtney said exemptions were granted on a "case by case" basis.
"I understand that quarantine in hotels can be challenging for a lot of people. People are monitored when they are in hotel quarantine, and we ensure they are provided with the medical care they do need," she said.
"We need to also step back and remember the reason we have the quarantine hotels, is a mechanism to keep Tasmanians safe.
"The decision is not made lightly. The advice we get from public health is based on the risk of the jurisdiction where that person came from."