/ 17 May 2021

Questionable tests clip Aussie wings

The first repatriation flight from India to Darwin landed on Saturday (yay). Unfortunately, it was half full (boo). Expected to bring 150 Aussie home, the Qantas flight landed with 80 people on board after 70 people were barred from boarding. That’s because 46 people returned a positive test to the coronavirus in their pre-flight assessment, and a further 24 were ruled out as close contacts. Why didn’t they just fill the flight with other needy Aussies? That wasn’t possible because of the time required for pre-flight testing, officials said. Fast-forward to yesterday, and a cloud is hanging over the lab that processed the tests after delivering a subsequent negative COVID test. PM Scott Morrison yesterday said it was better “to be cautious” as Labor’s Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said those impacted “deserve an explanation from the Morrison Government for this bungled process.” Not waiting is the stranded Aussie cricket contingent who will land in Sydney this morning.

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