Qantas air crew landing in NSW on repatriation flights from international COVID-19 hotspots will be required to undertake a COVID-19 swab at the airport before being allowed to isolate at home as of midnight.
Crew members who live interstate and land in Sydney can immediately transfer to another domestic flight to reach their home state, but will also take a swab test before departing.
The updated directions are contained in an internal directions notice circulated among Qantas cabin crew on Monday afternoon, following changes introduced by the NSW government.
Qantas crew will now undertake a COVID swab test on arrival in Sydney from overseas.Credit:Getty
Qantas Medical will hold a webinar to outline the directions to all pilots and crew at 3pm.
The document, seen by the Herald, states that Qantas crew who live in another state or territory will be able to leave Sydney Airport to board a domestic flight home "if they travel in accordance with a COVID safety plan."
"This will include wearing a mask and suitable distance made available between the crew member and other people travelling on the flight. Qantas will have procedures in place for this when crew are travelling," the document says.
If crew members from interstate cannot transfer home within a reasonable time they will have to isolate in one of two police-run hotels: the Pullman Mascot and Novotel International.
Under the changes, from 12.01am Tuesday, crew members that are Australian citizens who reside in NSW can self-isolate in their household so long as they take a swab test and make a declaration confirming they have had no contact with a COVID-19 case and that they have had no symptoms.
Crew members who travelled to New Zealand will not have to quarantine or self-isolate.
NSW Health will contact Qantas crew members throughout their self-isolation period to ensure they are adhering to the rules.
"Failure to comply with home self-isolation requirements may result in serious fine or penalties from NSW Police," the document said.
It adds that other states are expected to make "some changes to their requirements for international aircrew which may be similar to these changes for NSW. We will communicate these to you as soon as we become aware."
Measures already in place for Qantas crew on repatriation flights overseas include requirements that all crew go directly to their hotel and not leave their rooms until they return to the airport.
Crew are given with additional protective equipment and are required to wear masks during the flight and passengers are required to undergo a COVID test within 48 hours of departure and must return a negative result in order to board.
More to come
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