Hong Kong has lifted the overseas hotel isolation requirement for locally based flight crew starting today, also providing them with blue health codes when returning to the city.
Authorities have informed airlines of Hong Kong canceling the “closed-loop management” system for crew, allowing them to leave the quarantine hotels freely when commuting overseas, but avoiding participating in banquets or going to bars.
The crew must complete a PCR test every day for 5 days when back in Hong Kong while enjoying blue Vaccine
Pass codes, allowing them to enter premises such as restaurants and other face mask-off venues.
Separately, crew members returning to Hong Kong without having overnight duty will not be asked to remain in the airport pending a negative result of their Covid
test, while those who had overnight duty are still required to do so.
Cathay Pacific Airways, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier, confirmed the arrangement today, adding more flights will be resumed with relaxed disease prevention arrangements.
Cathay’s Chief Operations and Service Delivery Officer, Greg Hughes, said the changes were a “significant milestone” toward normalizing the airline’s operations. But he noted they “fall short of the complete removal of such restrictions on our aircrew, which we still seek.”
The changes, which also apply to Hong Kong Airlines Ltd., Greater Bay Airlines Co. and Cathay’s low-cost affiliate HK Express, bring the rules for crews making overseas layovers into line with the removal of mandatory quarantine for employees arriving back in Hong Kong, a step that was also extended to passengers on Sept. 26.