Traveller involved in green zone breach at Brisbane Airport tests positive for COVID-19

A person who was accidentally ushered from the quarantine red zone into the green zone at Brisbane Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. 

The person and their partner were inadvertently directed into the green zone while transiting through Brisbane after arriving on a flight from Papua New Guinea.

The pair were in the same area as 390 passengers due to depart for New Zealand for two hours before the mistake was realised.

They were then isolated and tested, with one of them returning a negative test on Thursday night.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the second person has since returned a positive result for COVID-19.

“One case was detected in Brisbane Airport’s International Terminal,” she wrote on Twitter on Friday.

Queensland Health said both passengers reportedly tested negative for COVID-19 before they entered the state.

The infected person was in the same area as passengers due to fly on Air New Zealand NZ202 from Brisbane to Christchurch, Air New Zealand NZ146 from Brisbane to Auckland, and Qantas QF135 from Brisbane to Christchurch.

Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) said the breach occurred due to “human error”.

The pair had visited two retail outlets and used the bathrooms in the green zone.

BAC said those areas have been cleaned thoroughly and all green zone staff were wearing PPE at the time.

Three green flights departed during those two hours, but airport officials say only “a handful” of passengers were in the vicinity of the couple.

“BAC is conducting a thorough investigation and unreservedly apologises for this human error,” the operator said on Friday.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said the couple had worn masks and were social distancing while in the green zone.

“They were in the wrong zone through no fault of their own and we appreciate their patience and cooperation,” Dr Young said in a statement on Thursday.

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

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