Airport operators say two passengers who arrived from the coronavirus-infected Papua New Guinea at the departure area of Brisbane International Airport this morning were accidentally allowed.
In a statement, the Brisbane Airports Corporation (BAC) said two transport passengers arriving from Port Moresby were accidentally allowed to enter the airport’s ‘green zone’.
A statement said that at around 9.30 am, two transit passengers arrived on a ‘red’ flight from Port Moresby and proceeded to the transit as per normal procedure through screening.”
Preliminary CCTV reviews indicate that at 9:55 a.m., these passengers were incorrectly allowed to enter the ‘Green Zone’.
The breach was caused by human error, and the BAC is currently working with all relevant authorities, including Queensland Health, to investigate the breach.
All foreign arrivals from New Zealand must be in the ‘red zone’ area of the airport.
While in the Green Zone, the BAC reported that passengers had accessed a store and used a public toilet between 9:55 and 11:20 a.m.
The ‘red’ passengers were in the ‘green’ zone during the period, with three flights in New Zealand carrying about 390 passengers.
The BAC confirmed that all staff and passengers in the green zone were wearing masks and they believed that only a handful of passengers were in the vicinity of two ‘red’ passengers at any one time, all bound for New Zealand.
The statement said, “The BAC is conducting a full investigation and is unreservedly apologizing for this human error.”
The airport said Queensland Health is responding and working with New Zealand’s Ministry of Health.
Queensland Health later said in a statement that the two passengers were tested in Brisbane this afternoon, with one passenger receiving negative results.
It said other tests did not show positive or negative results.
The department said both passengers were tested negatively before entering Queensland.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeannette Young said the two passengers took less risk for the others.
“While at the airport, they wore masks and distanced themselves socially and showed no signs of Covid-19 symptom” he said.
“They were in the wrong territory without any fault of their own and we appreciate their patience and cooperation when we dismiss them as a case.
We are also grateful for the prompt response of Brisbane Airport staff after the mistake was identified.