• Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Two passengers who arrived from coronavirus-hit Papua New Guinea were accidentally allowed into the departures


Apr 29, 2021

Two passengers who arrived from coronavirus-hit Papua New Guinea were accidentally allowed into the departures area of Brisbane’s international airport this morning, the airport’s operators say.

Key points:

  • Two transiting passengers from Port Moresby were accidentally allowed into the ‘green zone’ of Brisbane airport
  • Currently all overseas arrivals except for those from New Zealand must stay in ‘red zone’ areas of the airport
  • The ABC understands Queensland Health is in the process of organising COVID-19 tests for affected passengers

In a statement, the Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) said two transiting passengers who arrived from Port Moresby were accidentally allowed into the ‘green zone’ on the airport.

“At approximately 9:30am, two transit passengers arrived on a ‘red’ flight from Port Moresby and proceeded through screening to transit as per normal process,” a BAC statement said.

“Initial review of CCTV indicates that at approximately 9:55am, these passengers were incorrectly allowed into the ‘green zone’.

“The breach is due to human error, and BAC is currently working with all relevant authorities including Queensland Health to investigate the circumstances of the breach.”

Passengers accessed a shop and toilet

Currently all overseas arrivals except for those from New Zealand must stay in ‘red zone’ areas of the airport.

While in the green zone, the BAC said the passengers accessed a shop and used a public toilet between 9:55am and 11:20am.

During the period the ‘red’ passengers were in the ‘green’ zone, three flights to New Zealand departed, taking approximately 390 passengers.

The BAC confirmed all workers and passengers within the green area were wearing masks, and that they believed only a handful of passengers were in the vicinity of the two ‘red’ passengers at any time, all bound for New Zealand.

The airport said Queensland Health is responding and working with the New Zealand Ministry of Health.

Queensland Health doing tests on two passengers

Queensland Health has since said in a statement the two passengers were tested in Brisbane this afternoon, with one passenger returning a negative result. 

It said the other test did not show either a positive or negative result.

The department said prior to entry into Queensland, both passengers reportedly tested negative.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the two passengers posed a low risk to others.

“While at the airport, they wore masks and socially distanced and neither has reported symptoms,” she said.

“They were in the wrong zone through no fault of their own and we appreciate their patience and cooperation while we rule them out as cases.

“We’re also grateful for the prompt action by Brisbane airport staff once the mistake was identified.”

Queensland Health said it would release the results of the confirmatory testing once it was available.

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