Ouch: Cathay Pacific Crews Put Into Quarantine Camp For 21 Days, As A Precaution

Ouch: Cathay Pacific Crews Put Into Quarantine Camp For 21 Days, As A Precaution

35

While most of the world is moving on from a zero-tolerance approach to coronavirus, Hong Kong is remaining steadfast, and some Cathay Pacific employees are suffering the consequences of that right now.

Cathay Pacific’s coronavirus outbreak in Germany

Some of Hong Kong’s recent imported coronavirus cases are linked to Cathay Pacific crews, and the details are interesting. Specifically, three Cathay Pacific cargo pilots have tested positive for coronavirus, following two separate layovers at the Hyatt Regency Mainz (just outside of Frankfurt).

Cathay Pacific operates both passenger and cargo service to Frankfurt, and as it stands:

  • Two Cathay Pacific cargo pilots arriving in Frankfurt on November 1 ended up testing positive for coronavirus
  • One Cathay Pacific cargo pilot arriving in Frankfurt on November 3 ended up testing positive for coronavirus

What’s interesting here is that:

  • Cathay Pacific pilots aren’t allowed to leave their hotel rooms during layovers, to limit the risk of infection
  • Furthermore, the pilot who arrived on November 3 claimed to have no contact with the pilots who arrived on November 1 and tested positive

An investigation is now being conducted into whether this was truly just a coincidence, or if the pilots had breached protocols during their layovers. Of course it’s possible that the pilots got infected by the same hotel employee (whether it’s someone at the front desk, or someone who delivers room service), but this sure does seem like quite a coincidence.

As you’d expect, all of these pilots were immediately required to quarantine upon testing positive, which is fair enough. What’s harsher is what other employees are being subjected to.

The coronavirus outbreak involves the Hyatt Regency Mainz

Cathay Pacific’s precautionary 21-day quarantine

While Hong Kong has a 21-day quarantine requirement for arriving international air travelers, there’s understandably an exception for pilots:

  • They perform a vital role for getting supplies to Hong Kong, and if they had to quarantine for 21 days every time they arrived in Hong Kong, they wouldn’t be able to do their jobs
  • They’re supposed to take lots of precautions, including not being able to leave their rooms during layovers, and also having to constantly be tested

Nonetheless due to the two separate coronavirus outbreaks in Germany, the airline is taking some serious precautions. First of all, the airline has changed crew hotels for Frankfurt layovers, and on top of that cargo crews are no longer laying over in Germany at all.

Much more drastic is that all Cathay Pacific crew members who had a layover in Frankfurt this month are having to undergo a 21-day quarantine in Hong Kong at a government facility. This even applies to employees who repeatedly test negative (and they’re required to test every day). As mentioned above, the two incidents occurred on November 1 and November 3, so even if a crew had a layover in Frankfurt a week later, they’d still be subjected to this.

Cathay Pacific crews are being put in a quarantine facility

One cargo pilot for the airline took to Instagram to share just how bad conditions are at the infamous Penny’s Bay quarantine camp, where Cathay Pacific employees have been put up. In addition to posting a video of her room, she wrote the following:

I am currently in a Hong Kong government quarantine facility. I was sent here with my crew after flying from Frankfurt. Our post-flight PCR tests were negative, but we are considered “potential close contacts.” I need to stay in a container in Penny Bay Isolation Camp for 21 days. Many of my colleagues are in this camp.

This is my personal account and I am not a spokesperson for the airline I work for, but as this is a highly sensitive matter I need to run posting about the situation via them first. But I want to use my platform to show and tell what is going on.

Here’s a South China Morning Post video about the quarantine camp from earlier this year:

In the past we’ve seen some unions representing pilots express concerns over layovers in Hong Kong, and frankly I can’t blame them. If having been in the same hotel as one person who tested positive for coronavirus (even if you were there 10 days later) is enough to be put into a 21-day quarantine (despite testing negative daily), then I can appreciate why one would want to avoid that.

Bottom line

Three Cathay Pacific cargo pilots who had layovers in Frankfurt earlier this month tested positive for coronavirus. As a precaution, Cathay Pacific is putting all staff who had a layover there into quarantine for 21 days, at the infamous Penny’s Bay quarantine camp. At least one pilot is exposing the conditions at the camp, and the general over-the-top response.

One has to wonder how much longer this will go on in Hong Kong…

Conversations (35)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Capt. Clarence Oveur Guest

    Cathy Pacific is blaming the hotel, did anyone consider whether the pilots flew on the same Aircraft? Perhaps it was the same Flight deck or radio headsets that both crews were exposed to? Pilots don’t wear masks during flight in case they have to quickly put on Oxygen masks.

  2. Dave Guest

    You forgot to mention that, not only the pilots are going into prison camp, their families are all going into prison camp through no fault of their own if the crew has ever gone home since. All in the name of Zero Covid, or rather, the government's "Top priority at all cost".

  3. Ben Guest

    "the airline is taking some serious precautions" --> This is not Cathay Pacific's choice, its the HK government and their overly-cautious CHP (Centre for Health Protection)

    1. Ehch Guest

      Important to highlight - this is not CX decision; it is GovHK decision and as we've seen, these have not been friendly to CX in recent times.

  4. Chris D Guest

    As someone who desperately misses HK, I find myself selfishly hoping they lose control of COVID (like Australia / New Zealand) so they decide to go the other way and reopen to the West. Sorry in advance if that sounds very wrong!

    1. mOjO jOjO Guest

      The HK you miss is already gone.

  5. dee Guest

    craziness and overkill only in Communists or severe Socialists government controlled countries,,Hope we never get there in the US....BUT

  6. Will Guest

    I thought Germany had this thing totally and completely handed with their untold levels of efficiency, social cohesion, and robust vaccine rollout... who would have thunk..... or maybe the population level of immunity is far too low and the vaccine effectiveness is waning.... But hey, Im sure they'll get the policy right this time

  7. David Diamond

    Hong Kong has decided that being close to China is more important than being an international city, so they're doing everything in their power to get China to fully reopen with Hong Kong. That means following the absurd COVID-zero policy of mainland China. Given the low effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, it's unlikely China can or will abandon their COVID-zero policy any time soon.

    Hong Kong is effectively dead for anyone outside the mainlands for the...

    Hong Kong has decided that being close to China is more important than being an international city, so they're doing everything in their power to get China to fully reopen with Hong Kong. That means following the absurd COVID-zero policy of mainland China. Given the low effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, it's unlikely China can or will abandon their COVID-zero policy any time soon.

    Hong Kong is effectively dead for anyone outside the mainlands for the next year or two, at the very least.

    1. Hank Tarn Guest

      You think they have a choice?

    2. David Diamond

      I think there was a more moderate way (and less divisive) way forward for Hong Kong, but I also think it is beyond Carrie Lam's capabilities. All that is besides the point, I'm simply offering practical advice to people who are considering visiting Hong Kong as a tourist: Don't count on it for the next 1-2 years.

    3. George Guest

      "Given the low effectiveness of Chinese vaccines"

      LOL

    4. ImportViking New Member

      Hong Kong was forced by China to give up the 'one country, two systems' policy that was agreed with the British at the handover some 25 years ago. It's a hollow shell.

      Hong Kong didn't have any choice in this matter. Hong Kong didn't decide anything. Mainland China decided a lot and pushed their agenda quite agressively. Please look up news articles about Hong Kong riots and Hong Kong elections in the last 5...

      Hong Kong was forced by China to give up the 'one country, two systems' policy that was agreed with the British at the handover some 25 years ago. It's a hollow shell.

      Hong Kong didn't have any choice in this matter. Hong Kong didn't decide anything. Mainland China decided a lot and pushed their agenda quite agressively. Please look up news articles about Hong Kong riots and Hong Kong elections in the last 5 years before making such ridiculous claims about Hong Kong having a choice.

      If it wasn't for Covid, I bet the political situation in Hong Kong would still make headlines.

    5. David Diamond

      @ImportViking
      You don't need to lecture me to "look up news on Hong Kong". I am a Hong Kong dual citizen, I am quite in-tuned with HK politics.

  8. Mohammed Guest

    Very sad to see Hong Kong still living in the past

  9. John Guest

    maybe they did not wear their masks? masks save lives they are so important in our fight against this virus.

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      "Masks are however good for virtue signaling."
      Like constantly showing up in forums, spreading misinformation about masks, so you feel better about yourself?

    2. ImportViking New Member

      I suggest that you ask your doctor to not use a mask next time you're undergoing surgery. Ok? Deal?

      Otherwise, please stop spreading misinformation and get educated.

    3. MikeL1986 Guest

      They wear masks to prevent getting bacteria from their mouth and nose into the open incision of the patient. Spit droplets are much larger than aerosol particles and are able to be caught by the mask. This is to prevent a bacterial infection from occurring in the incision site. It has nothing to do with not spreading respiratory virus aerosols. The reason surgeons wear masks is completely different than the reason we're all being forced...

      They wear masks to prevent getting bacteria from their mouth and nose into the open incision of the patient. Spit droplets are much larger than aerosol particles and are able to be caught by the mask. This is to prevent a bacterial infection from occurring in the incision site. It has nothing to do with not spreading respiratory virus aerosols. The reason surgeons wear masks is completely different than the reason we're all being forced to wear masks.

      And @Another Lump is exactly correct. If masks were so very effective, then the pandemic would've ended already or at minimum, places with masking would have drastically lower infection numbers. We all know that this is not the case at all. How anyone can continue to preach masks even as we've seen massive case spikes during mask mandates is beyond me.

  10. Billy Bob Guest

    B... b...but weren't they vaccinated???
    Pretty soon you're going to run out of the unvaccinated to scapegoat. Then what?

    1. Ralph4878 Guest

      Right, because they'll all be dead.

  11. Biz Traveler Guest

    Covid Zero has never and will never work. It's time we embrace this as the endemic that it is.

  12. Greg Guest

    It is completely unreasonable for even a confirmed positive person to be forced into jail. Having a virus with over 99% survivial rate doesn't warrant losing your basic rights

    1. Tee Jay Guest

      Rights in China? LOL

    2. Turkfresser Guest

      Apparently over 760k have 'enjoyed' their rights to live in the US

    3. Dan777 Guest

      Turk,

      What does this have to do with the US? Nothing.

    4. Turkfresser Guest

      @Dan777
      Nothing, since rights and freedom are not associated with the US.

    5. Dan777 Guest

      Turk,

      Exactly, so what was the purpose of your 760k US comment then (other than a misplaced deflection)?

    6. CHRIS Guest

      368,000 of which were under the Brandon administration.

    7. Pete Gold

      Much of that number due to the previous President advocating clorox.

    8. HaleyG Guest

      Ahh but Pete, more now have been lost under Biden than Trump and that’s with vaccines and therapeutics. Failing miserably!

    9. Louganis Guest

      So other people can be forced to be exposed to something that has a 1% chance of killing them so that one person can have the right to do whatever they want if they're positive? Interesting basic right.

    10. ImportViking New Member

      It's not just about the 1.x% deaths. Still, 3.5 to 5 million people dead in the USA would dislocate society.

      It's about all the others who face long term consequences. Do you think society can handle 25% of all the people, that's over 80 million in the USA alone, with long term chronical illness caused by this virus? Who got disabled, need a lot of treatment, take up tons of hospital beds? And who...

      It's not just about the 1.x% deaths. Still, 3.5 to 5 million people dead in the USA would dislocate society.

      It's about all the others who face long term consequences. Do you think society can handle 25% of all the people, that's over 80 million in the USA alone, with long term chronical illness caused by this virus? Who got disabled, need a lot of treatment, take up tons of hospital beds? And who will care for them? The doctors and nurses who are also dead, ill or have a burnout?

      Also, what makes you believe people in China have rights? What makes you think mandatory quarantine is a conviction to jail time? Do you get a criminal record when in quarantine?

    11. MikeL1986 Guest

      It isn't a 1% death rate. Even the CDC recognizes that the true fatality rate when you account for the millions of infections that have gone undetected, especially early on when testing was terrible, is probably no more than 0.5%.

      And where on Earth do you see 25% of the population having life-long problems because of Covid? Almost every person who gets it recovers with no problem whatsoever. Just because the media only likes to...

      It isn't a 1% death rate. Even the CDC recognizes that the true fatality rate when you account for the millions of infections that have gone undetected, especially early on when testing was terrible, is probably no more than 0.5%.

      And where on Earth do you see 25% of the population having life-long problems because of Covid? Almost every person who gets it recovers with no problem whatsoever. Just because the media only likes to report on one-off extreme cases doesn't mean that large chunks of the population are going to have long-term damage from Covid. I personally know about 4 dozen people who have had Covid at some point and the longest I've been told that it took to recover completely was about 2.5 weeks. My parents who are in their 70's including my dad who is diabetic were fine within a matter of 5 days.

      Sorry but I am sick and tired of people who accusing others of misinformation for thinking that masks are largely ineffective while they themselves spread misinformation trying to make Covid sound much worse than it truly is.

      The fact is that the reason such high numbers of Americans died is because they were all fat. Because they were all fat, they were generally unhealthy because of it. We all know obesity causes all sorts of life-threatening conditions including but not limited to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc. I think the last estimate I heard was that over 80% of people dead with Covid were obese.

      Basically we didn't need masks, mandates, lockdowns, vaccines, etc. We needed Americans to quit being lazy fat people to save their lives. Maybe this will be a wake-up call to people to make their health and fitness a priority.

    12. Andy Guest

      >> The fact is that the reason such high numbers of Americans died is because they were all fat.
      Embarrassingly shameless. Launching into victim blaming mode and ignoring the facts (e.g. not as many obese people in Brazil or Russia, still many people died in those countries, right?).
      Here are some facts for you:
      1. places like Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan (note: I did not mention China) kept the virus at...

      >> The fact is that the reason such high numbers of Americans died is because they were all fat.
      Embarrassingly shameless. Launching into victim blaming mode and ignoring the facts (e.g. not as many obese people in Brazil or Russia, still many people died in those countries, right?).
      Here are some facts for you:
      1. places like Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan (note: I did not mention China) kept the virus at bay until most of their citizens were vaccinated, deaths were minimal
      2. whereas in your great "free" nation, more than 750k people are dead from and/or with covid, because *it was not taken seriously*, by those in charge, and by people like you ("It isn't a 1% death rate", so it is OK to have 0.5% out of 300 million = 1.5 million dead, right?)
      So stop defending the indefensible.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

David Diamond

Hong Kong has decided that being close to China is more important than being an international city, so they're doing everything in their power to get China to fully reopen with Hong Kong. That means following the absurd COVID-zero policy of mainland China. Given the low effectiveness of Chinese vaccines, it's unlikely China can or will abandon their COVID-zero policy any time soon. Hong Kong is effectively dead for anyone outside the mainlands for the next year or two, at the very least.

3
Ben Guest

"the airline is taking some serious precautions" --> This is not Cathay Pacific's choice, its the HK government and their overly-cautious CHP (Centre for Health Protection)

1
Ralph4878 Guest

Right, because they'll all be dead.

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published