April 30, 2021
A passenger involved in a green zone breach at Brisbane International Airport on Thursday has tested positive to COVID-19.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has declared the international terminal a venue of concern.
“Anyone who was in the terminal between 9:45am and midday on Thursday, April 29, should monitor their symptoms and get tested immediately if they feel unwell,” she said.
The man arrived on a flight from Port Moresby on Thursday morning.
He and his travel partner were mistakenly directed to the airport’s Green departure zone, instead of the Red zone for travellers from higher-risk countries.
They spent about two hours among passengers of three New Zealand-bound flights.
Closed circuit TV footage shows they spent most of that time in Hudson Café, had minimal interaction with other people and wore masks appropriately. The footage shows the table was also cleaned once they left.
Once the mistake was identified, the two passengers were tested for COVID-19.
One man’s initial test was equivocal, meaning it was neither positive nor negative. Further testing revealed he is positive.
The other passenger is negative.
Serology testing is under way to determine if the confirmed case is historical.
The three flights affected are 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 while the risk of Queenslanders being infected was low, she was taking precautions.
“Staff who came into contact with this case have been placed into quarantine,” she said.
“We have advised the NZ Ministry of Health of the latest results and they are taking their own protection measures.”
Dr Young said the incident highlighted how important it was to wear masks at airports.
“Both international and domestic airports are higher-risk environments,” she said.
“We need people to wear masks in terminals at all times. We have kept that direction in place and we need people to comply.”
Queensland Health is not responsible for security arrangements inside Brisbane International Airport.