Stewardesses in central Hong Kong COVID outbreak arrested

Hong Kong: Two former Cathay Pacific flight attendants were arrested for violating pandemic rules, Hong Kong police said after being identified as the source of the city’s Omicron outbreak.

The couple reportedly left their home as they should have been in isolation for possible coronavirus infections, which was later confirmed.

People receive COVID-19 PCR tests at a test facility in the Tuen Mun area of ​​Hong Kong.

People receive COVID-19 PCR tests at a test facility in the Tuen Mun area of ​​Hong Kong.Credit:Bloomberg

The two arrived from the United States on December 24 and 25. While under medical supervision, they had “performed unnecessary activities”, according to a government statement. They reportedly ate at bars and restaurants throughout the city before being tested positive for Omicron.

They were charged under Hong Kong’s ordinance on disease prevention and control and are due to appear in court on 9 February. If convicted, the couple risks a $ 5,000 fine ($ 890) and six months in prison.

Omicron’s emergence in the city, which had avoided a local outbreak of the Delta tribe, led to an intensification of its zero-tolerance approach to the virus, in which travelers from certain countries were sent to isolation camps and close contacts with the victims were automatically quarantined. The government has been quick to put the blame at the feet of Cathay, who has struggled under the territory’s changing quarantine rules and strict border restrictions, amid a dive into passenger and freight traffic.

Chairman Patrick Healy said last week that the airline would cooperate with investigations into whether the crew did not comply with the rules of self-insulation and the airline’s practice of reporting crews on passenger aircraft that were only cargo, allowing them to avoid longer quarantine periods.

The two people are no longer employed by the airline, a spokesman for Cathay said, adding that the airline “is very aware of the critical importance of complying with anti-pandemic measures both in Hong Kong and abroad”.

Cathay Pacific planes stand along the tarmac at Hong Kong International Airport

Cathay Pacific planes stand along the tarmac at Hong Kong International AirportCredit:AP Photo / Kin Cheung

Earlier in Hong Kong, some air and sea crew members were able to isolate themselves at home during certain quarantine exemptions. Following the outbreak, the rules were tightened on December 31, requiring crew members to isolate themselves at a designated quarantine hotel for about a week to protect public health.

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