Christmas cancelled: Snap decision sends hundreds of fully vaccinated Aussie travellers into isolation without warning

The precaution has been likened to "taking a sledgehammer to an ant".
The precaution has been likened to "taking a sledgehammer to an ant".

Queensland's health authorities are being criticised over what one expert describes as a "sledgehammer" approach to COVID-19 after requiring two planeloads of travellers from New South Wales to undergo 14 days of quarantine due to potential exposure.

Speaking on Australian morning television, Infectious diseases expert Robert Booy said Queensland's reaction "doesn't make sense" after passengers onboard the flights had been linked to COVID-19 locations of interest.

"I think it's an overreaction. Once again taking the sledgehammer to crush an ant," Professor Booy said.

Booy said all passengers were wearing masks and fully vaccinated, arguing seven days in isolation would be sufficiently safe.

On Tuesday night, Queensland Health classified Virgin Australia flight 1105 from Newcastle to Brisbane as a close contact exposure site.

All passengers onboard a flight from Queensland to Townsville, VA375, had also been considered close contacts.

New South Wales is currently investigating a nightclub superspreader event which has seen hundreds of cases emerge from one venue.

"What we do know is that out of the 650 to 680 people, there are now more than 200 patrons positive for COVID-19," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told radio station 2GB.