One of the 177 Australians on the ACT’s fifth repatriation flight has been transported to hospital upon arrival for an issue unrelated to COVID-19, ACT Health has confirmed.
The passenger remains in hospital and has been isolated while infection control measures, including full protective equipment for nurses and health staff, are in place.
All other passengers underwent health screening at the airport and will be given a COVID-19 test today (2 March).
The ACT has accepted 146 passengers for hotel quarantine while the remaining 31 have continued to Sydney to undertake their hotel quarantine.
The hub flight left Singapore carrying Australians who had been stranded across Asia and Europe, including Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Portugal.
“The arrival of the passengers into Canberra, including a mix of families, individuals, adults and children, went smoothly and they are now safely in hotel quarantine,” an ACT Health spokesperson said.
Passengers were tested before boarding the flight, today on their first day of hotel quarantine, and will be tested again between day 10 to 12 of the 14-day quarantine period before they can be released.
Anyone who refuses a test will be forced to remain in quarantine for an additional 10 days at their own expense.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the ACT Government has budgeted to receive an additional four flights before the end of the financial year.
“Our budget measure has supported six flights from the start of this year until June,” she said.
“We will continue to work with the Commonwealth about what they are doing for the continuation of repatriation flights. I assume that the [government-facilitated flights] will continue, just not at the same level.”
The ACT Government has said that it will only receive one repatriation flight per quarantine cycle as Canberra only has one hotel – the Pacific Suites on Northbourne Avenue – operating as a quarantine facility.