PNG passengers tested following Brisbane green zone error

Two transiting passengers from a flight from Papua New Guinea are being tested after a potential green zone breach in Brisbane International Airport this morning.

The pair were inadvertently directed into the airport’s green departure zone, instead of the red zone which is designated for travellers from higher-risk countries.

They were in the green zone for around 2 hours with other passengers due to depart for New Zealand.

Prior to entry into Queensland, both passengers reportedly tested negative for COVID-19.

Both passengers have also been tested in Brisbane this afternoon, with one passenger returning a negative result. The other test was equivocal, meaning it did not indicate either a positive or negative test.

More samples have been sent to Queensland Health’s Forensic and Scientific Services laboratory for confirmatory testing.

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.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette 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.

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

“They were in the wrong zone through no fault of their own and we appreciate their patience and cooperation while we rule them out as cases.

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

Queensland Health will release the results of the confirmatory testing once it is available.

Queensland Health is not responsible for security arrangements inside Brisbane International Airport.

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