Packed Virgin flight into Brisbane is issued urgent Covid alert plunging passengers into isolation

Packed Virgin flight into Brisbane is issued an urgent Covid alert plunging passengers into isolation – as dozens of exposure sites are revealed days ahead of the Grand Final

  • Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Brisbane listed as Covid exposure site 
  • Passengers and crew on board flight VA333 on Monday plunged into quarantine 
  • Multiple Covid cases have emerged in Queensland days before NRL Grand Final 

Passengers on a Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Brisbane have been plunged into isolation after a confirmed Covid case was on board. 

The Monday afternoon flight Virgin VA333 – which left Melbourne at 2.59pm and arrived in Brisbane at 4.55pm – has been listed as a close contact exposure site.

Anyone who was on board must immediately get tested for Covid and quarantine for 14 days – with concerns the virulent Delta strain could have spread through the aircraft. 

Virgin Australia flight VA333 from Melbourne to Brisbane on Monday afternoon has been listed as a close contact Covid exposure site plunging those on board into two weeks of quarantine  

The plane was one of more than 25 exposure sites listed on Wednesday in south-east Queensland as health officials try to contain Covid clusters in Brisbane and the Gold Coast ahead of the NRL Grand Final. 

Queensland reported four new local coronavirus cases on Tuesday and a further case on Wednesday. 

The cases are connected to a truck driver who was infectious in the community eight days and a worker at an aviation training centre. 

A third cluster which emerged on the Gold Coast with a man in his 50s testing positive is now understood to be linked to the aviation training centre worker. 

Among the other exposure sites listed is multiple stores at a busy Westfield Shopping Centre which a Covid infected person visited on Sunday. 

And the Adalong Guesthouse in South Brisbane which was listed as a close contact exposure site on four consecutive days. 

The next few days will be critical despite the Queensland government holding off on a snap lockdown.

Queensland’s chief medical officer Dr Jeanette Young has said she will wait until absolutely necessary to confirm the grand final could go ahead in Brisbane but the NRL insist it’s business as usual.

But the threat of a relocation has not entirely subsided and Dr Young said a lockdown would be considered if there was a spike in transmissions.

‘If we see large numbers, if we see spread and definitely if we see unlinked cases that I can’t say where they’ve come from,’ she said.

Any lockdown would throw the NRL into chaos with 52,000 Suncorp Stadium tickets already sold for the premiership decider between South Sydney and Penrith.

It will be the first time the NRL grand final has been held in Brisbane despite years of campaigning from Queensland rugby league officials.

A last-minute shift to Townsville, which is on standby to hold the event, would dramatically impact crowd numbers.

At capacity, the Townsville stadium can hold 25,000 fans – less than half of Suncorp Stadium.

Mask mandates were increased for Brisbane, Moreton and Gold Coast local government areas on Tuesday.

But so far there has been no changes to requirements for Brisbane grand final spectators who will be allowed to remove their masks while they are seated.