Qantas Return Crew Tested Positive for Coronavirus, But Exempted from Quarantine | Company

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Four Qantas crew members who operated a repatriation flight from Chile tested positive for the coronavirus but, unlike their passengers, who were placed in isolation in hotels in the city, they did not enter quarantine due to a special exemption.

The latest news will raise concerns about the safety of flight with crews who are not required to close for 14 days after traveling abroad and if that amounts to a hole in Australia’s pandemic defenses.

The flight from Santiago landed in Sydney on March 29.

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Passengers were quarantined for 14 days in city hotels, but the crew was free to return home under an airline crew exemption granted by the Australian Senior Protection Committee of health.

The committee includes all chief medical officers of state and territory and is chaired by the Australian chief medical officer.

A Qantas spokesperson said the four were among the 50 Qantas and Jetstar employees who tested positive for Covid-19. The company released the issue on Friday.

“Under federal government regulations, they are exempt from quarantine until they are diagnosed. It’s the same as a doctor or a nurse. They can continue their work and visit the supermarkets unless they get sick, “he said.

He also pointed out that the airline was under pressure to do more repatriation flights to bring Australians back from cruises and regions of the world that had much higher levels of coronavirus infections.

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