The New Zealand cleaner who tested positive for COVID-19 this week also worked on planes bound for Australia, it’s been revealed.
The New Zealand cleaner who tested positive for COVID-19 this week also worked on planes bound for Australia, it’s been revealed.

Sick NZ worker cleaned planes to Australia

A coronavirus-infected airport staffer who cleaned planes from high-risk countries also worked on aircraft bound for Australia.

There are now fears the staffer may have passed the infection on just two days after the trans-Tasman bubble opened.

New Zealand's director of public health Caroline McElnay said authorities believed the case was linked to a returning passenger from Ethiopia.

"The person who has become infected works at cleaning planes from international flights," she told reporters on Wednesday.

Authorities believe the infection is linked to a returning passenger from Ethiopia. Picture: Brendan Radke
Authorities believe the infection is linked to a returning passenger from Ethiopia. Picture: Brendan Radke

"This includes countries that are deemed red zone where COVID-19 is widespread, but also includes having cleaned green zone planes flying back to Australia on Monday."

Dr McElnay noted it was the same protocol used in Australia.

"The person wore full PPE while cleaning and we have been in touch with Australian authorities to notify them about this case," she said.

"Our assessment is that there is no additional risk to any passengers who travelled on those flights cleaned by the infected person."

The worker has received both doses of the COVID-19 jab, which means the risk to the community is low.

Originally published as Sick NZ worker cleaned planes to Australia