Qantas flight is forced turn back to Sydney due to a cluster of coronavirus cases among baggage handlers
- A Qantas flight has been turned around mid-flight due to COVID-19 on Tuesday
- Six baggage handlers tested positive for COVID-19 at Adelaide airport
- A total of seven flights have been impacted due to a lack of baggage handlers
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
A Qantas flight from Sydney to Adelaide has been forced to turn around due to the coronavirus.
The plane was approaching the South Australian border on Tuesday when it was forced to fly back to Sydney due to a lack of baggage handlers.
Six baggage handlers tested positive for COVID-19 at Adelaide airport, meaning there is a lack of staff to unload and load planes.
‘Seven flights to and from Adelaide are affected,’ a Qantas spokesperson told Daily Mail Australia.
A Qantas flight from Sydney to Adelaide has been forced to turn around due to the coronavirus
‘This includes one Sydney flight that was on its way to Adelaide which will return to Sydney and passengers will be provided with accommodation and put on alternative services tomorrow.’
The spokesperson said the airline is working with the state health department to provide contact tracing for the confirmed cases.
Other employees who have come into contact with them have been instructed to self-isolate.
‘We are working to minimise any disruptions to customers who are flying in and out of Adelaide, although passenger numbers are significantly reduced due to government travel restrictions,’ the spokesperson said.
The airline said they are also introducing enhanced cleaning measures as a result.
South Australia Health on Tuesday announced they are investigating a COVID-19 cluster at Adelaide Airport.
Six baggage handlers tested positive for COVID-19 at Adelaide airport, meaning there is a lack of staff to unload and load planes
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN AUSTRALIA: 4,559
New South Wales: 2,032
Western Australia: 364
South Australia: 337
Australian Capital Territory: 80
Northern Territory: 15
TOTAL CASES: 4,559
About 100 people who work in the immediate area of the infected Qantas baggage handlers will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
SA Health confirmed the outbreak while announcing 32 new cases in the state.
‘We are currently talking to Qantas about risk mitigation and there is going to be a requirement for a significant number of staff to go into quarantine because of this,’ Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said.
‘This is a serious situation.’
Dr Spurrier said they met with Qantas and will introduce measures to ensure baggage can still be offloaded despite the cases of infection.
‘I’m absolutely hoping there will not be interruption to flights,’ she said.
‘Qantas has done an amazing job bringing people home internationally and also continuing to carry people around Australia in domestic flights.’
Dr Spurrier recommended that travellers who have flown in the last 24 hours should give their bags a ‘wipe over’ and keep track of coronavirus symptoms.
South Australia’s latest cases of infection bring their total to 337.