Infected security worker sparks calls for end to quarantine exemption

The Queensland Premier is calling for an end to quarantine exemptions after an infected overseas traveller managed to dodge hotel quarantine due to his job title.

The man, who was first thought to be a consular official, was allowed to skip quarantine and fly from Sydney to Queensland on Friday where he then tested positive to COVID-19.

It’s understood he was granted an exception to take the flight and quarantine at home due to the nature of his work, however Annastacia Palaszczuk is now calling for that loophole to be closed.


“I think now is the time for overseas travellers to definitely go into mandatory hotel quarantine,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“There have been some exemptions. I don’t think the time is right now for those exemptions.”

Queensland Health has since confirmed the man, who remains in isolation at his home in Toowoomba, was a private security worker who returned from Kabul.

“The man was provided an exemption to travel to Queensland under arrangements agreed nationally in June,” they said in a statement.

“The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wrote to confirm the man was “travelling on essential Australian Government business.

“He confirmed he held a diplomatic passport and provided his passport number.

However the State Government says that “irrespective of this person’s circumstances, we are concerned with the number of overall exemptions and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is reviewing criteria and will provide advice to National Cabinet.”

Contact tracers are now desperately working to try and track down everyone the man may have come into contact with, especially those sitting in close proximity to him on the flight.

There were no new cases of coronavirus in Queensland on Monday.