Top doctor pleads for mask-wearing at airports after new cases

The State’s top doctor is continuing to remind travellers about the importance of wearing masks in airports and on flights.

It comes after three people recently tested positive to COVID-19 after transiting through Brisbane Airport.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young says there is no risk to other passengers, but it proves why following the rules is so important.


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“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.”

Dr Young said the three recent cases had limited exposure at the Brisbane Airport, and thankfully were all wearing masks.

“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,” she said.

“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 on Saturday 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.”

Anyone not wearing a mask at the airport or on a flight is being warned they could cop a $200 on-the-spot fine.

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Why does she have to plead with anyone? It is compulsory and has been for months. I’m not surprised as my trips through QLD airports this past month revealed them to be the worst in the country at following directions. They’ll shut a border a the drop of a hat, but why are they not enforcing mask wearing?