Australia Do flight crews have to quarantine, and can they do it at home? Here are the rules
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There is no doubt COVID-19 has inherently changed the way we travel.
From border passes to quarantining and red, green or orange zones, going on a trip isn't as easy as it used to be.
The changes have affected flight crew just as much as they have travellers.
Teri O'Toole from the Flight Attendants' Association of Australia said going to work now carried significantly higher risks for crew members.
"We've had crew mid-air and they've only been at work for three hours and a border closes," Ms O'Toole said.
"They could be mid-flight and forced into quarantine [upon landing]."
She said the differing border rules from state to state could be difficult for flight crew to navigate and nearly 80 per cent of the workforce were forced to find other jobs because of the uncertainty.
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"We have a lot of crews that are parents or carers, so they're not able to do the 14-day isolation, so it really is cutting out a huge proportion of our people who just can't fly under these conditions because of family commitments," she said.
"It's not the same workplace for our cabin crew that it was pre-COVID — there are a lot of changes just in the way you go to work," Ms O'Toole said.
So what are the rules for flight crews? Do they have to quarantine every time they come home from work? Here are the rules in Queensland.
Which flight crews must quarantine?
Any crew member who has been overseas in the last 14 days or has worked with someone who has been overseas in the last 14 days must quarantine.
This includes pilots, cabin crew, and crew performing essential safety and maintenance functions.
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Crew members flying in from 'safe travel zones' do not need to quarantine.
New Zealand is currently the only 'safe travel zone' country that Australia has a travel bubble with.
"We're hoping as time goes by, more bubbles will be opened up, particularly places like Singapore, where they're fairly on par with us, as far as infection rates and vaccination," Ms O'Toole said.
Can crew members quarantine at their own homes?
Only Queensland-based crew members — those who live in the state — can quarantine at their own home but only if they can safely distance from family members.
This means having their own bathroom or kitchen, or alternatively cleaning a shared bathroom and kitchen vigorously after each use.
They must also wear a mask when moving through shared spaces and always stay 1.5 metres away from other household members.
If they share a house with someone who works in aged care, health care, disability care, correction centres or youth detention centres, they won't be able to quarantine at home.
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If their home is more than two hours' drive from the airport in which they arrived, they cannot quarantine there and must quarantine in a hotel.
They can only leave home to work on their next international flight, or for essential reasons such as receiving medical care.
Any travel to and from airports must also be conducted in a private vehicle or transportation organised by their employer and approved by the Queensland government.
Crew members who do not live in Queensland must quarantine in a hotel.
How often are flight crew tested for COVID-19?
Crew members who regularly fly overseas must be tested as soon as they can after entering the state, and again every seven days.
If they are in Australia for longer than 14 days, they do not need to be tested after the 14-day period ends.
Any COVID-19 tests taken outside of Australia before entering the country will not be accepted.
However, COVID-19 tests taken in another state prior to entering Queensland will be accepted.
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