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Urgent warning to Jetstar passengers after a ‘fake diplomat’ lied his way into Queensland

An urgent warning has been issued to Jetstar passengers after a man who dodged hotel quarantine by claiming to be a consular official tested positive for coronavirus.

The man in his 20s returned to Sydney last week from Afghanistan before flying to Maroochydore in Queensland and then driving to his home in Toowoomba on Friday.

He had been granted permission to self-isolate at his home as he was allegedly listed as a consular official on a border declaration pass, the Courier Mail reported.

Australian diplomats and consular staff have been allowed to return home during the pandemic without the need to enter hotel quarantine. 

However, the man was a private security contractor, not a diplomatic or consular staff member, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said. 

It is understood he was employed by a private security firm based at the Australian Embassy. 

He flew from Sydney to Maroochydore on Jetstar flight JQ790 on Friday, July 31, which had 149 passengers aboard.

The man then drove to his home in southern Queensland before testing positive for the illness.

Queensland health authorities have been scrambling to contact passengers who were seated near him on the plane. 

Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said authorities were still trying to track down 14 passengers.

There is no requirement for domestic planes to keep contact details of passengers. 

‘Two passengers have no contact details,’ she said.

‘I want people to quarantine at their point of arrival…I don’t think we should allow people to get on a domestic flight.

‘We’ve got 14 people we are trying to contact who were on that plane. Two… have no contact details, the airline cannot tell me how I can get hold of those people.’ 

A Queensland Health spokesman said authorities were looking into the matter.

‘Irrespective of this person’s circumstances, we are concerned with the number of overall exemptions and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is reviewing criteria and will provide advice to National Cabinet.’

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