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Brisbane Airport on alert after Covid-infected travellers force two Jetstar flights into isolation

Brisbane Airport has been put on alert after two passengers on separate Qantas and Jetstar flights tested positive for Covid-19, sending two planeloads of travellers into isolation. 

One of the cases waited for a connecting flight to Darwin for over fours on Friday before returning a positive test on Sunday night.

The fully-vaccinated 53-year-old who was flying from Newcastle to the Northern Territory via Brisbane, has also sent hundreds into at Darwin Airport also sweating on test results.

It comes after an infected Sydney traveller also tested positive for coronavirus on their first day of hotel quarantine, prompting Premier Annastacia Palasczczuk to declare the Sunshine state’s border will remain shut until 90 per cent of Queenslanders are double dosed. 

Brisbane Airport (pictured) has been put on alert after two passengers on separate Qantas and Jetstar flights tested positive for Covid-19 , sending two planeloads of travellers into isolation

One of the cases who flew in on a Jetstar waited for a connecting flight to Darwin for over fours on Friday before returning a positive test on Sunday night

One of the cases who flew in on a Jetstar waited for a connecting flight to Darwin for over fours on Friday before returning a positive test on Sunday night

Every passenger on board the QF516 flight were classified as a close contacts however passengers were already scheduled for 14 days of hotel quarantine after arriving from a declared Covid hotspot. 

About 20 passengers on board Jetstar flight JQ484 will also have to go into isolation, while the remaining 111 people must immediately get tested and self isolate until they receive a negative result.

Among those sent into quarantine are two Border Entry staff and two ADF members.

Anyone who visited the domestic terminal at Brisbane Airport between 11.25am and 12.57pm and from 4.57pm to 9.30pm on Friday, September 17, is considered a low risk contact.

That means those in attendance do not to quarantine but must immediately get tested and monitor for symptoms.       

The Covid scare comes after Premier Palasczczuk became the second premier, after Mark McGowan, to try and back out of the national plan to reopen state borders once 80 per cent of Australia’s population is fully vaccinated.

All state and territories agreed to Scott Morrison’s plan three times before it was announced in July but the rebel premiers want the vaccination threshold to be increased for their states.

Ms Palasczczuk’s cabinet is understood to support interstate travel not resuming resuming until 90 per cent vaccination, the Courier Mail reports. 

Annastacia Palasczczuk (pictured) is trying to back out of the national plan to reopen state borders once 80 per cent of Australia's population is fully vaccinated.

Annastacia Palasczczuk (pictured) is trying to back out of the national plan to reopen state borders once 80 per cent of Australia’s population is fully vaccinated.

Under the federal government’s four-phase plan, Covid lockdowns will end once 70 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated, a milestone expected to be hit nationally by November 2.

By December 5, when the Covid vaccination rate is forecast to reach 80 per cent, state border were meant to open to allow interstate travel for vaccinated Australians.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Victorian Premier Dan Andrews, who are both battling Delta outbreaks in their states, released roadmaps outlining an end to lockdowns in their capital cities at the 70 per cent target.  

But Ms Palaszczuk and Mr McGowan are yet to release blueprints for how their states will progress out of the pandemic.   

The two states also have the worst vaccination rates in the country, with 41.8 per cent their residents vaccinated and just over 60 per cent of Western Australians and Queenslanders having received one dose.

Despite this, Queensland chief health officer Jeanette Young and Ms Palaszczuk’s preference for reopening has jumped to a 90 per cent target over the past week.

The figure may have been influenced by Labor polling that showed Queenslanders would prefer to keep the border closed if it prevented a mass Covid outbreak which could lead to increased restrictions.

Border tensions first arose in August when the Queensland and WA premiers disputed the accuracy of the Doherty Institute’s modelling used to devise the national recovery plan.

They both argued the initial findings were based on small daily case numbers, and did not reflect the implications of borders reopening while other states, calling for further research in light of NSW’s Delta outbreak. 

Ms Palaszczuk does not want Queensland's borders to reopen until 90 per cent of Australia's population is fully vaccinated. Pictured: People line up at a mass vaccination hub at South Bank, Brisbane, on Monday

Ms Palaszczuk does not want Queensland’s borders to reopen until 90 per cent of Australia’s population is fully vaccinated. Pictured: People line up at a mass vaccination hub at South Bank, Brisbane, on Monday 

On Friday, the Doherty Institute, released the results of an additional ‘sensitivity analyses’ of the scenarios presented in its initial report, requested by Ms Palaszczuk and Mr McGowan.

The institute was asked to test the robustness of the recommendation to transition to Phases B and C of the national plan at 70 and 80 per cent vaccination coverage if Covid-19 infection was already established in the community. 

‘These findings confirm our earlier strategic advice that even high levels of vaccination will not be sufficient to stop Covid-19 in its tracks,’ the institute said in a statement.

Mr Andrews on Sunday released his long-awaited road map out of lockdown as the state recorded 507 new cases and another death, bringing its toll from the latest outbreak to 11.

The road map includes scrapping the nightly curfew once 70 per cent of Victorians are fully vaccinated.

But substantial changes will not be made until 80 per cent of people are immunised, which is forecast to occur around November 5.

‘We are opening up, no doubt about that, and there will be no turning back,’ Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.

NSW and Victoria have both released roadmaps out of lockdown listing restrictions to be eased once vaccinations milestones are reached. Pictured: Sydney residents enjoy picnics in the city's eastern suburbs on Sunday

NSW and Victoria have both released roadmaps out of lockdown listing restrictions to be eased once vaccinations milestones are reached. Pictured: Sydney residents enjoy picnics in the city’s eastern suburbs on Sunday

‘If you care about nurses, doctors, ambos, cooks and cleaners, everyone in our health system, if they’re important to you, then get vaccinated.’ 

Ms Berejiklian said recreation rules will be relaxed for 12 hotspots in western Sydney from Monday, a week after the rest of the state.

These include fully vaccinated adults being able to exercise outdoors with no time limits and gather in groups of five for outdoor recreation within 5km of home.

But the premier warned the state is still in a ‘precarious’ situation and case numbers will increase when it reopens at the 70 per cent vaccination target.

‘We are anticipating our worst weeks in ICU and hospitals will be in October,’ she said.

The ACT, the third jurisdiction currently under lockdown, reported 17 new virus cases.

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