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COVID-19: Masks largely off at Sydney Airport T3, and in Qantas Business Lounge

COVID-19: Masks largely off at Sydney Airport T3, and in Qantas Business Lounge

I’m in Adelaide for a few days to sample the delights of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

I flew here with Qantas, and so saw the Sydney Airport T3 for the first time post-AHPPC changed advice about mandating masks be work in Airports. Looks like most have left their masks behind, judging by the number of passengers handed masks while boarding before entering the aircraft.

people sitting in a room with large windows
Qantas Business Lounge Sydney T3

Qantas Business Lounge

The number of people wearing masks in the lounge was pretty low as well. I’d say something less than 25%, and maybe as low as 10%. I’m a little surprised by this.

Next wave of COVID

New sub varients BA.4 and BA.5 are currently surging through Europe during the northern hemisphere summer. These sub-variants will surge through Australia during our winter, regarded as a period of higher transmission since we huddle inside out of the cold.

What’s worse is that hospital admissions in Europe are soaring again, not surprising when the 2 new Omicron subvariants (BA.4 and BA.5), are 10% to 15% more contagious compared to the original strain.

a body of water with a body of water with a large building in the background
Adelaide from the Torrens River with Festival Centre, EOS and Intercontinental hotels

2PAXfly Takeout

This is another timely reminder to wear your seatbelt when seated. Holding you close to your seat will protect you from the sort of injuries sustained on this flight, when unsecured passengers flew to the ceiling of the aircraft, and then came crashing down once the ‘drop’ ceased.

The hope will be that this is an anomaly – a ‘freak accident’ in casual parlance. If it is a systemic error either mechanical or electronic, then this is a larger concern for the airlines that fly Boeing Dreamliner 787 aircraft. Let’s hope it isn’t. If it is, it will pile on the woes to Boeing’s existing stack.

My takeout from this information is that now is not the time to become mask-complacent, however much we are all suffering from pandemic fatigue. For me, I’m keeping my mask firmly on in airports, on aircraft, in lounges, and in retail areas – anywhere that is not open air and where I can’t maintain a 1.5m distance. I’m quadruple vaxxed, but I still don’t want to catch COVID – for heaps of reasons – for this blog, the most relevant being, I don’t want to stuff up my trip to New Zealand scheduled for July.

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