Jetstar responds to COVID flight contact tracing concerns


UPDATE 12pm:

Jetstar has confirmed contact details of all passengers on a flight from Sydney to Maroochydore on Friday have been provided to Queensland Health to assist contact tracing.

The airline has issued a statement in response to Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young's comments this morning that contact tracers could not reach two of the 14 people they need to speak to who were on the flight.

She said no contact details were provided for the two passengers.

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A Jetstar spokesperson said as per its booking system passengers must provide contact details.

"We keep records of this information for all our flights in case we need to contact customers with information regarding their flight," the spokesperson said.

"We provide manifests (seating arrangements and contact details) to Government on request.

"In this particular case we provided Queensland Health with the manifest for that flight shortly after it was requested."

They said the information was provided to Queensland Health at 5.57pm Saturday, August 1, 45 minutes after the man in his 20s had a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Earlier 10.28am:

Queensland authorities want domestic flights off limits for people returning from overseas after a man with COVID-19 flew from Sydney to Maroochydore last week.

Two of the 14 people on last Friday's Jetstar JQ790 domestic flight cannot be reached by contact tracers because domestic airlines aren't required to keep passenger contact details.

The man aged in his 20s flew from Kabul, where he was working as a security guard, to Sydney and then on to Maroochydore.

He drove directly to his home in Toowoomba to quarantine, where he has since tested positive. His wife is also in self quarantine.

The man was given an exemption from the New South Wales and Queensland governments to quarantine at home in Toowoomba.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young.
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said during this morning's media conference that international travellers should not be allowed to board a domestic flight.

"Two of those (14) people have no contact details," Dr Young said.

"The airline cannot tell me how I can get hold of those two people because there's no requirement for domestic planes to keep contact details.

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"There's a requirement for international, but for domestic we are struggling to find two of those 14 people, so that's why we should quarantine at the port of arrival.

Sunshine Coast Airport.
Sunshine Coast Airport.

Contact tracing is how the department prevents the virus from spreading throughout the community and if people who have come into close contact with the sick person, the department will notify them.

There were 149 people on board the 186-seat Sydney to Maroochydore flight.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has raised concerns about quarantine exemptions with the chief health officers and at National Cabinet.

"I think exemptions need to be closed as much as possible because we have to keep our communities safe," she said.