Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Sydney arrivals test positive to new variant

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

Australian health authorities have confirmed that two travellers who arrived in Sydney from southern Africa last night have tested positive for the new Omicron COVID-19 variant.

NSW Health said the pair underwent testing on arrival and tested positive for COVID-19 late last night.

“The two positive cases, who were asymptomatic, are in isolation in the Special Health Accommodation. Both people are fully vaccinated,” it said in a statement this evening.

The two passengers were among 14 people from southern Africa who arrived on Qatar Airways QR908, Doha to Sydney, which arrived around 7pm, Saturday November 27.

The remaining 12 passengers from southern Africa are undertaking 14 days of hotel quarantine in the Special Health Accommodation, NSW Health said.

Around 260 passengers and air crew on the flight are considered close contacts and have been directed to isolate. 

“It is an offence not to comply with a Public Health Order and penalties can apply. Close contacts will be contacted regularly, and compliance checks will be undertaken,” the health authority said.

In line with Australian measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.

All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours, pending further health advice.

All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 14 days or until their departure on another flight that leaves Australia, consistent with the current rules for unvaccinated flight crew.

Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the nine African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days.

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