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Quarantine Flouting Flight Attendants Fined $13,000 After Sydney Hotel Escape

Quarantine Flouting Flight Attendants Fined $13,000 After Sydney Hotel Escape

A group of international flight attendants who recently flew to Sydney, Australia have been fined a total of A$13,000 after allegedly breaching a strict hotel quarantine in order to go shopping. The crew had arrived on a flight from South America on December 5, although New South Wales police have only recently released details of the incident as health officials in the state launch a clampdown on “disobedience” amongst foreign aircrew.

A police spokesperson said officers had become aware that at least one flight attendant had left the hotel close to Sydney International Airport and officers were dispatched to the hotel the same night.

“As part of inquiries, officers from South Sydney Police Area Command attended the hotel about 9.30 pm that day, before speaking with management and aircrew members,” the NSW police force explained in a statement.

“It will be alleged several crew members left the hotel and attended nearby businesses at Mascot,” the statement continued. Police did not say what airline the flight attendants worked for.

The quarantine flouting flight attendants were immediately put back into lockdown and had to undergo tests for COVID-19. All the tests came back negative. In total, 13 crew members were issued with $1,000 Penalty Infringement Notices.

New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian said the state had been struggling with “disobedience” from international aircrew and only several weeks a go, another flight attendant was found breaching hotel quarantine rules while out and about in Sydney shopping.

Nearly all international arrivals into Australia are placed into compulsory hotel quarantine for 14-days at so-called designated ‘medi-hotels’. International aircrew also have to quarantine in a hotel for the duration of their layover but until now, airlines were able to place crew in whatever hotel they chose.

As part of a new crackdown, however, all international crew arriving in Sydney will have to stay at one of only two specially designated hotels which will be under police guard.

The change will bring Sydney’s quarantine rules in-line with the likes of Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand where armed police officers are sometimes posted at either end of hotel corridors where cabin crew are staying. Crew are only allowed to open the door to their room to receive food and can only leave the room when it is time to check-out for their return flight home.

Earlier this week, it emerged that a flight attendant for Dutch airline KLM had been detained in Singapore for allegedly breaching quarantine rules. The crew member is said to have been found wandering the lobby of the hotel when he stopped and taken into police custody.

Flight attendants have recently been linked to several COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney. Several weeks ago, quarantining aircrew are believed to have infected a hotel cleaner, while a couple of days ago, a bus driver who exclusively drives aircrew to and from the airport tested positive for the novel Coronavirus.

View Comments (10)
  • While it’s understandable airline crews would want to get up and around, it’s not the right time during the pandemic. Plenty of occupations requires compliance, unfortunately their job requires them to follow it even when they aren’t in the plane. Their job has them travel around the world and be vectors for further spread of the virus, as are the passengers. They are being paid for their work, and if they can’t abide by it, they should consider alternative routes or employment where following protocol isn’t so strict.

    • I understand your sentiments, but please consider how stressful and also tiring being a flight attendant is on these LONG flights.
      Who wants to be stuck in a hotel room for 2 weeks?? That’s like being in jail, I would think.
      I completely sympathize with the flight attendants. There’s got to be a better way!
      P.S. I was in the airline business (not an FA) for 19 years.

    • Try to stay in your bedroom for 72 hrs and see if you like
      The only way is completely close the country no more plane from around the world including cargo flts
      And see if Australian people like ‘it

  • Why not mention the airline? LATAM? It’s important because it says scientific about the airline and its culture. And $1,000 per flight attendant isn’t enough; that’s what the government charges for an out of date flight manual

  • Simple thing would to get tested straight on arrival and quarantined until results. This 14 days quarentine is rubbish and the fine is too. Australian authority. have always had a reputation of being strict. As cabin crew, government need to think wiser. Puting flight attendants “in jail ” for two weeks is ridiculous. They are already taking risks to bring people safely home. So reading this article annoys me. Take the initial prob either by not accepting international flights or get cabin crew tested. Cos if had to travel to NSW knowing i would be quarentined for 14 days, I would rather not go. (Plus it is money loss for the airline to keep flight attendants abroad) We don’t get the choice.
    People who don’t know this profession has no idea what Cabin crew face, even more now with covid, it’s a lonely life, going back home also scares family and friends. We take lots of risks , do lots of long hours to perform our duty and bring people safely to A to B.
    So testing is the solution. We are essential workers. Respect our professions , like all other essential workers!!!
    This world we are living is becoming crazy and authority is taking advantage.

    • Except they’re not “in jail” for two weeks. They’re just required to remain in their layover hotel for the duration, which for most airlines into Sydney is 24-48hrs before they then fly the return trip

  • I bet the hotel staff snitched on them. When there is a health crises the government has the ability in many places to flex their muscles. Some of it I feel is common sense while others is crazy authoritarian.

  • People……

    DO THE MATH!!!

    Take the TOTAL number of people that have caught Corona, then divide that into the population of that country. The number you get is the risk of catching Corona.

    Then take the number of people who have died from Corona and divide that into the number of people who have caught Corona, this is the chance of dying from Corona.

    You will find that these numbers are TINY!!!

    Anywhere from 4% or less chance of catching Corona, and a death rate of roughly 2%.

    In the United States, the chance of catching AND dying from Corona is 8/1000th of 1%!!!

    DO THE MATH PEOPLE, math doesn’t lie!!!

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