Mixed messages as Adelaide flight arrives in Cairns
A HALF-HOUR window between a flight from Adelaide landing in Cairns and an announcement on Queensland's border has resulted in passengers getting conflicted information about their obligations in the Far North.
In response to a COVID-19 outbreak which is now at 17 cases, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced earlier today that from 11.59pm Monday, Queensland's border would be shut to people arriving from the city of Adelaide.
But the announcement was made half an hour after a Jetstar flight landed in Cairns from the South Australian city.
Jess Underwood and her partner were among the passengers on the flight, which was due to land at 10.10am but touched down at 10.27am.
Mid-flight the pair learned of the new Adelaide cluster and were addressed by the cabin crew.
"Pretty much the cabin manager said there had been a health update and then the police would be coming on-board to (give us) further update due to the cluster outbreak in SA," she said.
On arrival at the airport Australian Federal Police advised Ms Underwood to get tested for the virus.
She was en route to the drive-through clinic in Portsmith but had not been accompanied to the facility by police or health officials.
"(We are) on our way to get COVID tested, we have been told that they highly recommend it," she said.
"I rang the health line and the health line said we do have to get tested but the AFP said it was up to us."
Ms Underwood had been told to self-isolate at their previously booked Port Douglas hotel for 24 hours until the results of the COVID test came back.
But she was unclear if that meant being locked down in the room or to not leave the hotel grounds.
In the official announcement at 11am from Ms Palaszczuk and Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young, it was confirmed that anyone from Adelaide who arrived in Queensland today would need to get tested and quarantine for 14 days in the accommodation of their choice.
Dr Young said those people would still need to self-isolate for the 14 days even if their test results came back negative.
A Queensland Health spokeswoman said the discrepancy in information about whether passengers were required to get a test and whether they had to isolate for 24 hours or 14 days was due to the time gap between the flight landing and the official announcement.
The spokeswoman said the advice given to passengers arriving in Cairns was in line with the latest advice at the time.
Anyone who arrives from Adelaide from tomorrow will have to go into mandatory hotel quarantine.
Dr Young described it as a "rapid increase" of cases, saying some had been in "complex situations".
"We need to get more information about where the risks are," she said.
"Anyone who has been in Adelaide since Monday of last week … should go and get themselves tested at one of our clinics throughout the state."
Originally published as Mixed messages as Adelaide flight arrives in Cairns