Hong Kong sets strict air cargo crew quarantine

By Rebecca Jeffrey

Cargo planes at Hong Kong International Airport. Photo: HKIA

The Hong Kong Government will tighten the quarantine measures for air cargo crew as part of its efforts to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Air cargo crew members will be required to undergo compulsory quarantine at a quarantine hotel for three days upon arrival in Hong Kong.

This move is in view of the rising trend of imported Covid-19 cases with the Omicron variant.

On December 28, Centre for Health Protection Controller Dr Edwin Tsui told a press briefing that the number of Covid-19 infections involving Omicron accounted for 35% of the imported cases two weeks ago and that figure rose to 95% from December 26-28.

Given that Omicron is highly transmissable, Dr Tsui warned that the risk of a community outbreak is very high.

He said: “We have to balance between the risk of an infectious disease outbreak and the cargo operation.

“At present, we try our best to work with the airlines and also the Transport & Housing Bureau.

“And, we implement this measure of the three-day quarantine at a hotel, trying to intercept the cases once (airlines’ cargo crew) arrive (in) Hong Kong in the first three days.

“Of course, we will review the strategy and we will change the strategy if there is any new information.”

It’s not yet clear what impact this might have on the air cargo supply chain, however, Hong-Kong based Cathay Pacific has responded by suspending all long-haul freighter and cargo-only passenger flights to and from Hong Kong until January 6.

Cathay Pacific announces 7 day suspension of long-haul cargo operations

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