Airlines failing to ensure transits for passengers within 24 hours may risk penalties: AA

03-Dec-2021 Intellasia | TheStandard | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Airlines must ensure transits for passengers within 24 hours to avoid facing penalties, the Airport Authority said.

This came after a transit passenger stranded in the Hong Kong International Airport for four days due to visa issues was confirmed as the city’s fourth imported Omicron case on Wednesday.

The 38-year-old man arrived in Hong Kong on November 24 on Qatar Airways flight QR818 from Nigeria via Qatar. He remained on the airside of the restricted area due to a visa-related issue and tested positive in a pre-departure test on November 27.

The patient had not received any Covid-19 vaccination and had been asymptomatic.

The AA said that it was taking serious follow-up actions with airlines regarding the case.

It also said that there is currently no stranded passenger at the airport, and if there are, they would be required to stay in a designated area guarded by security personnel.

“The same arrangements also applied to the latest case, and the staff involved were all wearing personal protective equipment,” the authority said.

The government has included the places where he had been at the airport in a compulsory testing notice on Monday.

Any person who had been present at Orange Zone of Level 5 or Orange Zone of Level 6 (Gate 25-71) of Terminal 1 at the airport at any time from November 24 to November 27 had undergone testing by Wednesday.

According to the AA, there were so far some twenty staff members defined as close contacts and would be quarantined as required.

Infectious disease expert Ho Pak-leung urged the government to tighten the vaccination requirements for transit passengers.

In a radio programme on Thursday, Ho said that stranded passengers should be tested immediately or considered to be sent directly to quarantine centers to avoid cross-infection at the airport.

He reminded the airport staff to get the Covid-19 booster jabs as soon as possible to improve their level of antibodies and prevent serious illness.


Category: Hong Kong

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