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Why airline staff are ‘a very good fit’ for frontline quarantine hotels

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Premier Daniel Andrews has today confirmed flight attendants and cabin crew who have been stood down by airlines in recent months have been recruited to work at quarantine hotels housing returned travellers.

Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar staff have been redeployed in Melbourne’s quarantine hotels, where they are assisting with daily operations including the distribution of food and fresh-air breaks for travellers.

The Transport Workers’ Union has raised concern about the lack of training being offered to airline workers employed in hotel quarantine.

But International Division Secretary of the Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia, Teri O’Toole, said airline workers are “a very good fit”.

“Cabin crew are aviation’s first-responders,” she told 3AW’s Heidi Murphy, filling in for Tom Elliott.

“The training they already have puts them in very good stead to do these roles.”

“Whilst they might smile nicely they are very highly-trained professionals. In-flight safety, medical support and defensive security are all parts of their training that they receive regularly.”

Ms O’Toole said cabin crew have already proven they can safely manage coronavirus cases.

“I think people are forgetting these passengers that are coming in on aircraft are coming in with cabin crew,” she said.

“I’m really confident that they have the right ability to be able to understand the requirements of wearing personal protective equipment.”

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