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Covid Australia: Sydney woman blocked from seeing dying mum in Tasmania said goodbye on the PHONE 

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Sydney woman who was cruelly blocked from visiting her dying mum in Tasmania due to heartless Covid rules is forced to say goodbye to her on the PHONE

  • Mercedes Maguire told she must quarantine for 14 days before seeing her mum
  • Her mother Teresa Florez had days to live and could no longer eat or drink water 
  • Ms Maguire forced to say her final goodbyes to her mother on a Zoom video call 
  • Officials feared Ms Maguire and her siblings are high-risk for Covid transmission










A Sydney woman who was blocked from visiting her dying mother in Tasmania has been forced to say her heartbreaking final goodbyes on a Zoom video call.

Mercedes Maguire and her three sisters in NSW have spent the past week trying to obtain a travel exemption after learning their mother Teresa Florez, 90, may only have days to live.

Health officials said Ms Maguire would first have to spend two weeks in quarantine and as a ‘best case scenario’ could leave isolation to visit her mother at her Hobart home for two hours at a time.

Ms Florez died at 3.30am on Wednesday before authorities in NSW and Tasmania could agree on a better alternative.

Mercedes Maguire was told she must spend 14 days in hotel quarantine before seeing her dying mother Teresa Florez. Ms Florez died on Wednesday morning before authorities could agree upon a better alternative

Mercedes Maguire was told she must spend 14 days in hotel quarantine before seeing her dying mother Teresa Florez. Ms Florez died on Wednesday morning before authorities could agree upon a better alternative 

The family’s case drew the attention of NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet as well as the charity Angel Flight – who offered to fly the fully-vaccinated into the island state.

Ms Maguire though told Daily Mail Australia the ‘torment’ of being in a nearby hotel as her mother took her final breaths would have been too much to bear.

The journalist from Dee Why on Sydney’s northern beaches instead had to farewell her mother on a video call on Tuesday night, The Daily Telegraph reported.

‘The doctor came and said she was showing signs of pain and discomfort and upped her morphine dose, which she said would hasten her end,’ Ms Maguire said. 

Tasmanian Health Minister Jeremy Rockliff reportedly discussed the family’s case directly with his NSW equivalent Brad Hazzard.  

Ms Maguire on Tuesday said it was heartbreaking to think she and her three siblings from NSW may not at be their mother’s side as she takes her final breaths.

The NSW premier has intervened in the case and called for Tasmanian authorities to show compassion. 'We don't want to be in a hotel room down the road getting a phone call at 3am in the morning saying she's died,' Ms Maguire said

The NSW premier has intervened in the case and called for Tasmanian authorities to show compassion. ‘We don’t want to be in a hotel room down the road getting a phone call at 3am in the morning saying she’s died,’ Ms Maguire said

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein (pictured) was urged to reconsider the decision on Ms Maguire's case after it drew the attention of his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet

Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein (pictured) was urged to reconsider the decision on Ms Maguire’s case after it drew the attention of his NSW counterpart Dominic Perrottet

‘When we were told she was in palliative care last Thursday we started making plans to get down there – but that’s when we hit a brick wall,’ she said.

‘We applied for an exemption on compassionate grounds but within two days we received a response that said ‘unsuccessful’ in capital letters.’

Ms Maguire said her family on the mainland made a second application to enter Tasmania on Monday, but that health officials now wanted to verify the extent of her mother’s illness through their own doctor. 

‘The thing that’s the biggest torment is we want to be by her side when she passes away,’ she said. 

‘We don’t want to be in a hotel room down the road getting a phone call at 3am in the morning saying she’s died.’

The NSW premier intervened in her case and called for Tasmanian authorities to show compassion in her family’s ‘time of need’.

Ms Maguire pictured with her mother. Ms Florez was in the final stages of her battle with dementia and could no longer eat or drink in her final days

Ms Maguire pictured with her mother. Ms Florez was in the final stages of her battle with dementia and could no longer eat or drink in her final days

‘While border restrictions are a matter for individual states this is surely a case where an exemption could be considered on compassionate grounds,’ he said.

‘I have contacted the Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein to see if the Tasmanian government could have a further look at this case.’   

Ms Maguire said the prospect of short approved visits from hotel quarantine was not a good enough solution.

‘It doesn’t make sense – it’s just illogical,’ she said. ‘Aren’t we still creating a risk by visiting her?’

Ms Maguire’s three siblings already in Tasmania were cleared to see their mother in her final days as they were all double vaccinated against Covid-19.

The Sydney woman said the decision didn’t make sense given she is double-dosed too. 

‘We want to be there when she passes. She knows they [her siblings in Tasmania] are there and it breaks my heart to know that they’re we’re not there,’ she told Sunrise. 

Daily Mail Australia has contacted Tasmania’s Department of Health for comment.

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