Controversary As Passengers Onboard Two Flights Ordered To Isolate For Christmas

Decision reversed

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Dozens of Virgin Australia passengers ordered into quarantine after flying near a Covid positive person, could soon be released.

All passengers onboard two Virgin aircrafts - Newcastle to Brisbane flight VA1105 and Brisbane to Townsville on flight VA375, both on Monday, were told on Tuesday to isolate for 14 days ruining their Christmas plans.

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"We can confirm a new positive Covid case has been detected in Queensland, which is linked to the exposure sites at Townsville and Brisbane Domestic Airports and the two Virgin flights," Queensland Health said on social media.

The move, questioned by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on radio 4BC on Wednesday morning, has prompted Queensland health to reclassify most passengers as casual contacts.

“I think we’ve got to be more innovative, and we’ve got to be finding ways to let people re-join the community. That’s got to be our goal,” the PM said.

The turn-face means that dozens of people will now be tested and released from quarantine, while those who sat close to the Covid infected traveller on the flights will remain in isolation.

Talking to reporters on Wednesday morning, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said that there’d “been contact with other chief health officers and health official’s interstate to see how states are dealing with this based on national guidelines”.

“I’ve been advised this morning that the chief health officer and the deputies have reviewed that we can apply the normal rules in relation to these flights and we don’t need to wait until we get the findings of whether it’s Omicron because, if it is, we still will apply these rules.”

“That means that other than those people – who will be directly advised they are close contacts, because they were either part of the travelling party or sitting immediately around this individual – the remainder of the passengers will be deemed to be a casual contact,” she clarified.

Queensland recorded six new interstate-acquired cases on Wednesday in the Gold Coast and south of Brisbane.


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Triple M Newsroom

15 December 2021

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Triple M Newsroom

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