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Last-minute exemptions granted for interstate nurses left stranded in NSW

Published: in Australian News by .

South Australian nurses who went interstate to help New South Wales fight its COVID-19 outbreak have been granted exemptions to return home.

South Australian nurses who went interstate to help New South Wales fight its COVID-19 outbreak have been granted exemptions to return home after being left stranded in Sydney, unable to get home.

Adelaide nurse Kellie Dally-Watkins left her family at home and moved to Sydney to help care for elderly COVID-19 patients locked down in a nursing home.

She has completed the four-week contract, but had been left with no idea how she will get home.

READ MORE: NSW records 1262 new local COVID-19 cases and seven deaths

Kellie Dally- Watkins has spent the past four weeks caring for COVID-19 patients in a Sydney nursing home.

"My boys are in care so I basically need to return home to my family, my home," she said.

Monique McCloskey, who also answered the call for skilled nurses to help out in Sydney, had been in a similar situation.

She was booked on a flight home on Friday, which was cancelled.

"We don't know how long we'll be here for, we don't know what's happening with the exemption, we have no communication at all," Ms McCloskey said.

"I've just been extended in my accommodation until tomorrow."

Monique McCloskey claims there has been very little communication about how long she's expected to stay in Sydney.

Despite having letters from the federal government asking SA Health to allow the women to return to their home state to complete home isolation or hotel quarantine they heard nothing until today.

Late this afternoon, the nurses told 9News SA Health had granted their exemptions.

SA Health suggested a high volume of requests was causing delays.

The women said nurses from other states had also been stuck without information.

"There's a breakdown of communication happening, trying to get home to our home states, Queensland, South Australia and also Tasmania," Ms McCloskey said.

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READ MORE: Victoria records 392 new local COVID-19 cases

"We've done our job and now it's time for us to go home," Ms Dally-Watkins said.

NSW is still relying on agency nurses to fill the gaps in its stretched health care system, but the nurses say their colleagues will be unwilling to go to help if they can't be guaranteed an exemption to return home afterwards.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-nsw-interstate-nurses-unable-to-get-home-after-coming-to-nsw-to-help/c2acc511-3560-46d9-bc29-feebd6c2829e

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