“We will be looking at the trips and the people he’s escorted in those transfers between the airport and the hotels, but again his contact in those settings was to basically help people out with their baggage and help them exit the mini van or buses,” she said, adding the man wore a mask.
“He has three household contacts and they’ve been tested and we’re expecting results probably in the next hour or so.
“He did have symptom onset on Saturday and did work again for a few shifts subsequent to that [before being tested on Tuesday].”
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the positive case had expedited a review of how the state managed the 2000 to 3000 international air crew transferring through NSW each week during the pandemic.
“We will be implementing more discussions probably within the next 48 hours … but the inclination that the NSW government has at the present time is to say to international air crews and airlines, that international air crews coming into NSW will be most likely required to quarantine in the same way as any other international visitors or Australians returning to Australia,” he said.
“The difference would be of course that they would be in a quarantine environment, but not necessarily for the full 14 days because they obviously have usually turnarounds between 24 and 72 hours.”
Mr Hazzard flagged calling on other states to take more returning Australians, with NSW currently bearing the brunt of arrivals.
The Sydney driver is the first locally acquired case in NSW since December 3, when a Sydney hotel quarantine cleaner became infected.
The woman’s case was suspected to have originated from a member of a US air crew staying in a hotel during their lay-over.
WA Premier Mark McGowan’s office has been contacted for comment.
Previously, WA’s Chief Health Officer permitted the reopening of the state’s border with NSW on December 8 despite the cleaner’s infection, as tracing revealed the virus had not spread to any of her close contacts.
The required trigger point for WA to have quarantine-free travel with another state is 28 days without a locally acquired case.
WA is currently open to quarantine-free travel with all states and territories except South Australia, which, pending no new local cases, will change on Christmas Day.
Heather McNeill is a senior journalist at WAtoday.