Delamere woman Dr Kathryn Pentecost is in limbo stuck in New South Wales due to COVID restrictions

HOME PLEASE: Geoff Bromilow and Kathryn Pentecost on their property at Delamere. PHOTO: Anthony Caggiano.
HOME PLEASE: Geoff Bromilow and Kathryn Pentecost on their property at Delamere. PHOTO: Anthony Caggiano.

An interstate trip for Dr Kathryn Pentecost on June 24 to visit her 86-year-old mother and son and complete some work has turned into a nightmare.

More than one month later Kathryn, who lives on 10 acres at Delamere, is still in New South Wales and cannot get home. It is a story so familiar for families and individuals all around the world during COVID.

People like Kathryn are collateral damage, as governments strive to keep communities safe.

However, it does not mask the anxiety and stress that Kathryn is enduring while trying to come home to Delamere and her husband Geoff Bromilow.

"I have had the first dose of AstraZeneca and booked in for the number two dose, but I am in lockdown here in Katoomba, Blue Mountains for the last four weeks, forgotten and getting desperate to come home," Kathryn said.

"Meanwhile New South Wales is a basket case with every passing day the COVID-19 case numbers get worse. Every day that goes by, my chances of getting back to SA seem diminished.

"Originally, I had a flight booked for July 6. The airlines changed the flight-time and I then had no SAPOL permission to re-enter despite having done my form earlier. In fact, when Steven Marshall changed the rules suddenly, SAPOL then declined my entry."

Kathryn said she would never had left South Australia had she known what a nightmare it would be to try to come back.

"I am losing hope entirely. I came here originally for work and family reasons. My motive for visiting New South Wales was certainly not a frivolous one. I was born and grew up in Sydney, moved to SA in 2005 and have lived in SA ever since," she said.

"I have written to politicians now, but each glimmer of hope has so far proved to be snuffed out, so I am not hopeful. I am just one person. Why would SA Health care about me? I understand the seriousness of the virus, as a woman in her thirties has just died in New South Wales, but I live on a 10-acre farm in Delamere - away from others and can isolate safely."

Kathryn said she felt abandoned by the state government.

"The insecurity of no information is the most stressful," she said.

"It is a disaster and the communication between the states is disgraceful."

Kathryn is well-aware of her responsibilities in the community and been a contributor economically, socially and culturally to the state. Kathryn is a teacher and arts practitioner and raised funds for both the Pinery bushfire victims and Kangaroo Island wildlife through her incorporated body Sealand Theatre Inc.

Kathryn has her fingers crossed she can come home soon, but is rapidly losing hope.

SA Health said travel exemptions were considered on a case by case basis and take account of local epidemiology including evidence of community transmission.

"Urgent requests are being dealt with as soon as possible. The high volume of requests for travel exemptions into South Australia has resulted in some delays in the response time for applications," the spokesperson said.

"SA Health is working hard to respond as quickly and compassionately as possible."

SAPOL said people arriving from ACT or NSW were not permitted to enter South Australia, but SA residents can apply to SA Health for exemption and must receive approval from SA Health before travel.

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