A plane has landed in Perth from Auckland carrying a Cook Islands traveller who did not quarantine for two weeks before entering New Zealand.
Air New Zealand confirmed the incident was a potential breach of the trans-Tasman bubble.
“We have been made aware of a passenger on board NZ175 Auckland-Perth today who is ineligible for quarantine-free travel to Australia,” the statement said.
“We are working with the relevant authorities on both sides of the Tasman and will follow their guidance.
“The next steps for this passenger will be determined by the Western Australia authorities.”
WA Health issued a statement saying the woman had been transported to a Perth quarantine hotel, where she would be required to take a COVID test.
The statement said the WHO reported zero cases of COVID-19 in the Cook Islands, so it was “very unlikely” the passenger was infected.
“Remaining passengers on board Flight NZ175 were allowed to disembark and were processed in the usual way,” the statement said.
“Use of PPE and cleaning at Perth Airport and on the plane today are standard practice.
Taken away for testing
“The Department of Health will publicly report the test result.”
Flight NZ 175 with the passenger in question on board landed in Perth at 1:30pm today.
Passengers disembarking said two men wearing PPE boarded the plane after they landed.
The passengers said they had not been tested for COVID-19 nor told to go home and self-isolate until they returned a negative test result.
Passenger Karen Leech said she had been told by another passenger that there was a man on the flight who had recently been in Rarotonga but had not quarantined in New Zealand as required.
“He managed to somehow get onto the flight from Auckland to Perth,” she said.
She confirmed that when the plane landed in Perth, two men boarded in full PPE.
“We weren’t told anything … just to be patient,” she said.
A WA Police spokesman said the passenger had been met by officers upon arrival and dealt with as an international travel arrival under the Controlled Border arrangements.
This included quarantining at a hotel for 14 days and being subjected to mandatory COVID tests within 48 hours and on day 12 of quarantine.