Tough new restrictions are reportedly being imposed on Cathy Pacific aircrew in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Those returning to Hong Kong from layovers abroad have been told to remain at home and “avoid unnecessary social contact” for a total of 21 days.
The latest regulations are due to come into effect on Wednesday.
Hong Kong last month tightened its Covid-19 rules, which are already some of the strictest in the world.
Other than a few exemptions – including diplomats and business leaders – most arrivals in Hong Kong have to undergo between 14 and 21 days of hotel quarantine.
Now under Cathay’s new rules, in the first three days after arriving in Hong Kong aircrew have been told that they must remain at home, other than for the following essential activities (maximum 2 hours per day):
- Purchasing food and essential daily necessities
- Outdoor solo exercising
- Seeking medical attention/purchasing essential medical supplies
- Completing the mandatory post-arrival testing requirements
Crew members then have to “avoid unnecessary social contact” for a further 18 days and continue daily testing, the BBC reported
Aircrew were also reminded to stick to the airline’s strict isolation rules while on layovers in other countries.
They must go directly to their hotel as a group in pre-arranged company transport and wear a face mask for the entirety of that journey.
Once at the hotel they must stay in their room for the duration of the layover, including meal times.
The carrier said that all eligible crew members are required to get their third dose of Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible.
The airline confirmed that two freighter pilots tested positive for Covid-19 on return from Hong Kong from Frankfurt and an internal investigation was being conducted.
“Where improvements are necessary or compliance requirements are not being followed, we will take appropriate measures and actions in accordance with our company procedures,” Cathy Pacific said.
“As an immediate action, we will step up our compliance checks at overseas stations to ensure Cathay Pacific’s health and safety protocols are being strictly followed by aircrew during their layovers.”
It added: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers, employees and the community are our absolute priorities.
“We operate all our flights with fully vaccinated aircrew only. Our crew self-isolate in their rooms within designated hotels during any layover in places outside of Hong Kong.
“They are tested frequently and in 2021 alone have undertaken over 170,000 Covid-19 tests in Hong Kong, including multiple tests after every flight.”