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Cabin crew forced to ‘avoid social contact’ for 21 days after flights abroad

Cabin crew forced to ‘avoid social contact’ for 21 days after flights abroad
Staff also have strict rules to follow during layovers

Cathay Pacific flight attendants and pilots have reportedly been instructed to avoid all unnecessary social contact for a full 21 days after layovers abroad.

The Hong Kong flag carrier has told staff they must quarantine for three days following their return from international destinations where they’ve spent the night, before swerving non-essential social contact for a further 18 days, alongside daily Covid testing.

During quarantine, crew must remain at home at all times other than to buy food and essential items, exercise alone and seek medical attention, reports the BBC.

The new rules came into effect on 17 November.

Air crew must also follow strict protocols once in another country. After touchdown, they’re required to travel directly to their hotel as a group in private, prearranged transport (wearing masks for the duration).

Staff must then spent their entire layover in their hotel room – including at mealtimes.

Cathay employees are required to take up a third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine – or booster jab – as soon as possible.

It follows the news that the airline has launched an investigation after two pilots tested positive for coronavirus following a freight flight from Frankfurt to Hong Kong.

“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.

“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.”