Lisa Wilkinson was forced to apologize after cheekily criticizing flight attendants in a clip about recent quarantine errors.
The Sunday project The host was questioning an infectious disease expert, Robert Bowie, about the latest case of coronavirus in NSW, a hotel worker believed to have contracted the virus from an American flight crew.
Lisa described the cabin crew workers as a “high risk group” and claimed that they enjoyed “significant exemptions” – a point Bowie disagreed with.
A professor from the University of Sydney said: “Well, maybe these stakes aren’t that high because we didn’t have an example before, so if we start to have more and more problems with flight crews, that’s good and good.”
“I know the cabin crew and I know what they’re doing – they sleep. They usually spend a day or two and stop again. They don’t mingle and dance and go out to parties. They’re actually not in great danger.”
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But Lisa replied rudely: “You obviously know different flight crews for me.”
Co-host Joel Cressey agreed, saying “yes the same” as the trio enjoyed a muffled laugh on screen.
But the tone soon changed, with Lisa issuing a surprising apology to “all the flight crews out there”.
With the segment ending – which also discussed dealing with travelers who skipped quarantine at a Sydney hotel and drove to Melbourne on Saturday – the presenter is back to clarify what she meant.
“I feel I should follow there,” she said. “I know a lot of great flight crews, and none of them from Qantas would do the wrong thing. It’s just some other airlines abroad that might not be doing the right thing.”
Her comments come on the heels of New South Wales Police issued a statement asserting that travelers were able to avoid a hotel quarantine after traveling from Germany due to their mistake.
In a statement this afternoon, the police admitted the error, saying they had “improperly allowed travelers to go to Melbourne”.
“The police conducted a review after two German citizens flew to Melbourne after their arrival in Sydney on an international flight in violation of the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Act of 2020,” the statement reads.
The couple – a 53-year-old woman and a 15-year-old boy – arrived at Sydney International Airport around 9.45 am yesterday (Saturday 5 December 2020) on a flight from Tokyo, Japan, and were examined by NSW Health.
After approval, all passengers were directed to board a bus to the hotel’s quarantine before the couple reported to the police that they had been booked on a flight to Melbourne.
“The police made inquiries about travel and exemptions, which later allowed the spouse to travel to Melbourne on a domestic flight under standard protocols for exempt travelers.
On arrival in Melbourne, Victoria Health informed NSW Health that the couple did not possess an approved exemption and were taken to hotel quarantine, where they remained.
The NSW Police has since conducted a review into the circumstances of the accident and learned that the police incorrectly permitted travelers to travel to Melbourne.
Police practices and regulations at the airport were also reviewed and strengthened as a result of this incident.
On Friday, NSW Health issued an alert after a hotel employee tested positive for the coronavirus, despite having had no contact with quarantined guests.
The confirmed case sparked a test attack and forced hundreds of train and light rail passengers into isolation.
The woman is believed to have contracted the infection while cleaning a hotel room that the flight crew had stayed in.