Canberra repatriation flight passengers test negative for COVID-19

A repatriation flight from Chennai with 166 passengers onboard landed in Canberra earlier this week. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos
A repatriation flight from Chennai with 166 passengers onboard landed in Canberra earlier this week. Picture: Dion Georgopoulos

All passengers in hotel quarantine in Canberra tested negative for COVID-19 on day one of their stay.

No positive cases were detected among the 166 passengers, who flew into Canberra on Monday on a repatriation flight from Chennai.

Passengers had their first COVID-19 test on day one of their two weeks in hotel quarantine on Tuesday.

Further COVID tests will be conducted for those in hotel quarantine between day 10 and 12 of their stay at the Pacific Suites Hotel in Braddon.

Passengers were screened by health officials upon arriving in Canberra on Monday, but none displayed any COVID symptoms.

The news comes after further concerns were raised about hotel quarantine measures in other jurisdictions, after several positive cases among hotel quarantine workers.

Two workers at a quarantine hotel in Melbourne have tested positive for COVID-19, along with a woman who had finished their stint in quarantine.

The positive cases have prompted the Victorian government to close the quarantine hotel at the Melbourne Airport Holiday Inn until further notice.

Residents at the hotel have been evacuated and staff have been stood down as a precaution.

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Staff at the quarantine hotel in the ACT are subjected to daily saliva tests, in addition to nasal swabs conducted each week.

No hotel quarantine staff in Canberra have tested positive.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said earlier this week Canberra could face a lockdown if a case of COVID leaked out of hotel quarantine, but that would depend on how long that person had been infectious in the community.

The Pacific Suites is the only hotel in Canberra where travellers who have returned from overseas can quarantine.

It was used for a repatriation flight in late 2020.

Two repatriation flights are expected to land in Canberra in 2021, with the second due next month.

This story Repatriation flight passengers all test negative for COVID-19 first appeared on The Canberra Times.