Flight crews mixing with Qld hotel staff

·2-min read

Queensland's chief health officer has brushed off concerns about domestic air crews from COVID-19 hotspots being allowed to mix with staff at a Gold Coast hotel.

Dr Jeannette Young was questioned about air crews staying at the voco Gold Coast hotel on Thursday.

A reporter said crew members staying at the hotel had been seen mixing with unmasked staff, such as cleaners, in common areas.

Flight crews had also reportedly been chauffeured around by unmasked hotel drivers.

Dr Young says the voco Gold Coast isn't a state government responsibility and hasn't been used as a quarantine hotel since January.

"This is not a Queensland Health or Queensland government quarantine hotel, so I'd need to get some more information," she told reporters.

Queensland Health said the voco and other hotels were being used by airlines to accommodate non-resident crews.

A spokesperson said resident crew members who wanted to quarantine outside their homes were also allowed to stay at hotels.

Dr Young said the rules for accommodating flight crews was part of a nationally-agreed protocol because "we need to keep planes flying".

She clarified that crew members arriving from hotspots who were not Queensland residents were allowed to stay in hotels such as the voco.

"People can live in their own accommodation when they've come in and they're part of a flight crew," she said.

"So that is part of the national protocol."

It's unclear whether other guests are currently staying at the voco and comment has been sought from hotel management.

Asked again whether it was a concern that hotel staff weren't wearing masks and flight crew guests were not isolating, Dr Young replied: "we're not involved in hotels that aren't quarantine hotels".

Queensland Health said all hotels in Queensland are subject to health advice issued by the chief health officers.

A flight crew member reportedly stayed at the voco for four days after being told he was a close contact of a known COVID-19 case.

The man was then transferred to hotel quarantine with Dr Young saying that was the normal process.

"That's when they assessed that they thought he was better off being managed in a quarantine hotel, rather than where he was, and that's what we do," she said.

There were 5700 people quarantining at home and 3137 people in hotel quarantine across the state on Thursday.

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