Positive COVID Case Linked To Airport Bungle

Friday, April 30th, 2021
People in airport wearing surgical masks

A man who was accidentally ushered from the quarantine red zone into the green zone at Brisbane Airport has tested positive for coronavirus.

The man and his companion were inadvertently directed into the green zone while transiting through Brisbane after arriving on a flight from Papua New Guinea about 9.45am on Thursday.

The pair were in the same area as another 390 passengers due to depart for New Zealand for just over two hours before the mistake was realised.

They were both tested, with the companion testing negative on Thursday night.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the man’s test is positive and she declared the international terminal as a “venue of concern”.

“Anyone who was in the terminal between 9.45am and midday on Thursday 29 April 2021 should monitor their symptoms and get tested immediately if they feel unwell,” she said in a statement on Friday.

Dr Young said that serology testing was under way to see if the positive case is active or historical

The infected man was in the same area as passengers due to fly on Air New Zealand NZ202 from Brisbane to Christchurch, Air New Zealand NZ146 from Brisbane to Auckland, and Qantas QF135 from Brisbane to Christchurch.

Dr Young said the risk to Queensland is low as the man was in a departure area, but airport staff who came into contact with him have been placed into quarantine.

The NZ Ministry of Health has also been notified about the man’s positive test.

Brisbane Airport Corporation said the breach occurred due to “human error”.

The pair had visited two retail outlets and used the bathrooms in the green zone.

BAC said those areas have been cleaned thoroughly and all green zone staff were wearing PPE at the time.

Three green flights departed during those two hours, but airport officials said only “a handful” of passengers were in the vicinity of the couple.



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