The mother of six has only seen her husband once this year due to the closure of the border with Australia
A mother of six has criticized the Australian government for failing to perform same-day coronavirus testing, which could eliminate the need for 14 days of hotel quarantine.
Cristina Williams lives with her four sons in Brisbane, where she works in bio-medicine, while her husband Mat lives with his two sons in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.
The couple spent two weeks a month together, with one flying to meet the other on the other side of the world – until flights went aground in Australia due to the pandemic.
As a result, the family saw each other twice this year after Ms. Williams spent “ hundreds of hours ” on the phone begging authorities to let her fly.
Eight failed applications, emails to “every government department,” and $ 50,000 for flights and quarantine hotels later, she was finally allowed to leave the country to see her husband for a week in September.
Ms. Williams claims that the government is actively quarantining people for 14 days because they refuse to test the same day.
Cristina and Mat Williams (pictured) live separately and split their time between Phoenix, Arizona, USA, and Brisbane, Queensland
Mrs. Williams has four sons from a previous marriage and Mr. Williams (second from left) has two sons from a previous marriage
The couple knew their visits would become less frequent if the pandemic hit international shores, but didn’t think Australia would keep its borders closed for months and reject faster testing methods.
“We see other countries taking faster measures, but Australia still has this primitive fourteen-day quarantine.”
Countries in Europe, including Iceland, Germany, France and Greece, have reopened the borders with COVID-19 testing facilities at airports.
Results are provided within two days. If they are negative, the traveler is free to go – eliminating the need for quarantine after a few days.
The Australian government said in August that international passenger limits and a 14-day quarantine will continue indefinitely.
The couple have been married for three years and say their relationship works because they wanted to live apart half the time
Mrs. Williams is pictured with her four sons, left to right: Max 13, Jack 15, Cruz 12, Jett, 10
Ms Williams says it is unrealistic to aim for zero transmission through the community before borders open.
International travel into the future will depend on testing, not immunization. Even in the best of scenarios, immunization is not 100 percent effective. ‘
The frustrated mother says it is unrealistic to think that anyone could be held at the border for 14 days in the near future.
“I’m in the medical community and every medical person knows a vaccine is unlikely,” she said.
So what’s the goal, Mr. Prime Minister? What happens if there is no vaccine or if it does not work properly? Because there is a flu vaccine every year, but still a lot of people get flu. ‘
All six boys in their Phoenix, Arizona home: Jett (son of Mat), Max, Jett (son of Cristina), Jack, Jacob and Cruz
After two applications, Mr. Williams (departed with his wife) was allowed to travel to Brisbane in June, where he had to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days
Ms. Williams also condemned the Prime Minister for his “immature” request for all Australians abroad to “come home immediately” and called on the leader to plan for the possibility that a vaccine will not work.
“Scott Morrison was talking to the 20-year-old partying in Bali when he told Australians to” come home “- it’s a really immature assessment of why people are abroad,” she said.
“There are people who are abroad for medical treatment, with children who are being born or because they have to work – packing up and coming home is not that easy for most people.”
Her trip to the US in September marked the second time the pair had reunited after a disastrous first attempt three months earlier.
After two applications, Mr. Williams was allowed to travel to Brisbane in June, where he had to undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days.
At the time, his wife claimed he had not been tested for COVID-19 or had a mental health assessment once.
‘He was going downhill very quickly and every day I was in tears with the authorities asking if I could go into quarantine with him.
‘I even offered to restart the quarantine period when I got there, but they declined. He didn’t have fresh air or a window – it was shocking. ‘
She also asked health and border authorities why celebrities were allowed to fly in and out of the country when ordinary Australians were not.
“I asked them why people like Dannii Minogue were allowed in from the US and my husband wasn’t – what’s more contagious about his blood than hers?”
The 48-year-old singer and her 10-year-old son Ethan were granted a medical exemption to fly to Australia.
Mrs. Minogue and her son are reportedly quarantined at a private property on the Gold Coast.
Ms. Williams said her husband’s mental health was deteriorating when he was quarantined in Brisbane in June
Mr Williams said he stopped opening the meals he quarantined in Brisbane (pictured) because ‘they were so bad’
Mrs. Williams said, “They told me [Dannii Minogue] claimed medical exemption, which is interesting because that’s exactly what we said, and we got hit back. ‘
While the mother added that she is lucky enough to have been able to visit her husband abroad, she expressed concern about people who are not so happy.
‘There are people who have not received medical treatment because the borders are closed.
Ms Williams called on the government to consider faster tests and lift flight limits.
“When I come back to Australia next week, I’ll be taking Mat because we need more time together, and I’m afraid of being alone in quarantine for two weeks,” she said.