Renewed calls for mask wearing at airports


Queensland’s Chief Health Officer is issuing an important reminder about mask wearing in airports and on flights, following three recently positive COVID-19 cases transiting through Brisbane Airport.

Dr Jeannette Young said the mask wearing direction is in place for exactly this reason.

“We know most of our positive cases are overseas acquired in people travelling to Queensland on planes,” she said.

“This is why the Australian Government mandated mask wearing on planes and in airports, and we have put in place a specific public health direction in Queensland to enforce it.

“It is absolutely critical everyone follows the rules and wears a mask if they’ve got plans to travel.

“While the teams on the ground report a great level of compliance, there has been an increase in people turning up to airports without a mask.

“Not only can you be fined $200 on the spot, it is a safety precaution for you and for the people around you.

“It could be the difference between catching COVID-19 or not.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D'Ath reminded Queenslanders to remain vigilant by following health directives to stay safe.

"Queenslanders have done an incredible job of following the health advice of our Chief Health Officer," said Minister D'Ath.

"We must not be complacent, and I ask everyone to continue to keep up with the measures that we know keep us safe, like social distancing, good hand hygiene, and wearing a mask when required to do so."

Dr Young said: "Recently, we’ve had three positive COVID-19 cases who have had some limited exposure at the Brisbane Airport.

“We have completed our contact tracing for all three and I want to reassure Queenslanders that there is no risk to the public – primarily thanks to mask wearing, social distancing and cleaning processes.

“The first case is the person who was on the Qatar flight and subsequently transited onto New Zealand on 17 February.

“The second case which was reported today is an air crew member who arrived in Brisbane on 2 March and tested negative to COVID-19 as part of standard testing processes.

“They were in the airport on 3 and 4 March on flights in and out of Australia, and further testing on 4 March as part of the testing protocol returned a positive result.

“The third is a case reported on 4 March who came from the Ok Tedi mine in Papua New Guinea.

“This person was transiting through Brisbane on their way home but due to the layover time, went into hotel quarantine on 25 February for the night while awaiting their flight the following day.

“They went back to the airport on 26 February and headed to their flight, which they were unable to take in the end, so they headed back to hotel quarantine. They subsequently tested positive to COVID-19 on 2 March.

“All of this was done with appropriate safety protocols in place, like mask wearing.

"The person was sent in approved taxi’s as part of the quarantine transport process to and from the airport, and both taxi drivers have been tracked down.

“While it is low risk, we are taking a precautionary approach and both drivers are in isolation and are being tested.”

To read the Mandatory Face Masks Direction, please visit the Queensland Health website.

Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
The Honourable Yvette D'Ath

Automotive and Aerospace Business Community Emergency Information Law & Safety Queensland Government Tourism Travel & Transport

Yvette D'Ath : Minister for Health and Ambulance Services :
GPO Box 149, Brisbane Qld 4001, Queensland Wide
07 3719 7400
Yvette D'Ath  :  Minister for Health and Ambulance Services
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