Hong Kong bans flights for having COVID-positive passengers onboard

Hong Kong bans flights for having COVID-positive passengers onboard
FILE PHOTO: A traveller walks in the departure hall at the Hong Kong International Airport amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, China, March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Six different airlines with routes into Hong Kong have had flights banned because of COVID-positive passengers on those flights.

Basically, the city has rules about flights doing their due diligence to make sure infected people don’t get on the plane, and airlines that end up with infected passengers get slapped with temporary flight bans.

But these bans are happening right after Hong Kong announced it was loosening travel and social distancing restrictions, which is meant to make traveling to the city easier. But with these flight bans, there’s been a flurry of last-minute flight scurries for people who’ve realized their flights have been canceled.

Key comments:

Suspending airlines because of COVID-positive passengers that tested negative before the flight “is a case of shooting the messenger as testing is done by health experts,” said Subhas Menon, the director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines. “Quarantine of any form and repeat PCR tests are obsolete for fully vaccinated travelers nowadays, as well as travel deterrents.”

“Despite the shortening of flight bans in general we are still looking at bans,” said Frederik Gollob, chairman of the European Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong. “This continues to cause uncertainty for passengers as well as significant operational risks for airlines.”

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