Air crew quarantine revised

April 29, 2022

The Government today announced that the testing and quarantine arrangements for air crew will be revised starting May 1 following the adjustments to the inbound control measures with effect from the same day.


From May 1, non-Hong Kong residents will be allowed to enter Hong Kong from overseas places and the route-specific flight suspension mechanism will be adjusted.


In view of the adjustments, the Government considers it appropriate to update the testing and quarantine arrangements applicable to air crew.


Air crew members who will spend a short layover in Hong Kong and not enter the local community will be subject to a stringent closed-loop arrangement during their stay in the city.


They must present a negative result of a pre-departure rapid antigen test (RAT), use the dedicated channel in the airport upon arrival and take point-to-point transport to an airport hotel, which is designated to receive air crew under the closed-loop arrangement only.


They are also required to self-isolate in the hotel rooms until they leave Hong Kong via point-to-point transport to the airport and through the dedicated channel there.


The Government will also adjust the testing and self-isolation requirements for locally based air crew, with a view to relieving local airlines' manpower constraints.


Having due regard to the fact that locally based passenger crew members are subject to a stringent closed-loop arrangement when they lay over in outports, they will be required to undergo self-isolation in a designated quarantine hotel until they obtain a negative result of a polymerase chain reaction-based nucleic acid test conducted on the third day following their return to Hong Kong.


For locally based cargo crew, they will no longer be subject to self-isolation requirements upon their return to Hong Kong as they are subject to a stringent closed-loop arrangement when they lay over in outports and have no passengers to interact with throughout their flight duties.


However, these cargo crew members must undergo the test-and-hold arrangement at the airport upon arrival and obtain a negative result of a nucleic acid test before leaving.


Moreover, all locally based air crew members are subject to medical surveillance until the 14th day following their arrival, during which they are required to conduct repeated nucleic acid tests.


They also need to conduct daily RATs, avoid mask-off activities in public places, refrain from going to crowded places and mass gatherings, and keep a log of their activities until the seventh day following their arrival. In case of non-compliance, the designation status of relevant air crew members will be revoked.


The Government has requested airlines to introduce robust mechanisms to ensure that their air crew members fully comply with the requirements during the medical surveillance period.


Airlines will be held responsible for overseeing the activity logs of their air crew and conducting regular checks on the logs. If an airline is found not to be exercising due diligence over its air crew's compliance, the crew's designation status will be revoked.


Furthermore, starting May 1, all air crew members deployed by local airlines for operating flights in and out of Hong Kong will have completed three doses of COVID-19 vaccines.


Meanwhile, the Government announced that nine hotels which were earlier used or reserved as community isolation facilities (CIFs) will be converted to designated quarantine hotels, which will provide around 4,000 additional rooms.


These hotels will begin services and accept room bookings from early May.


The Government explained that it decided to change the use of these hotels having assessed the usage of CIFs in anticipation of the increasing number of inbound travellers.

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