News Coronavirus Further COVID tests underway after red zone flight breach

Further COVID tests underway after red zone flight breach

brisbane red zone flight
All international travellers must stay in Brisbane International Airport's "red zone", except passengers from New Zealand. Photo: ABC
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Queensland Health is awaiting further coronavirus test results from a traveller who unwittingly entered a common area of the Brisbane International Airport after arriving on a flight from Papua New Guinea.

The traveller and one other passenger had been in transit on a flight from Port Moresby, a coronavirus hotspot, and were accidentally allowed into the “green zone” at the departures terminal on Thursday morning.

For an hour-and-a-half the pair shopped and used public toilets before being retrieved.

Initial results released on Thursday from one of the two passengers came back negative, but the second passenger’s result was inconclusive.

Chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said more samples had been taken to Queensland Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services laboratory and the results of the “confirmatory testing” would be released once it was available.

Dr Young said the two passengers posed a low risk to others.

“It is our understanding that both tested negative in PNG prior to departure,” Dr Young said on Thursday.

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

Three flights at risk

Brisbane Airport Corporation confirmed the incident was a result of human error and the breach was being investigated.

A spokesperson said the pair were “accidentally” let into the airport’s green zone at 9.55am.

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

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

The 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.