Hong Kong enforced COVID-19 regulation 23 times to stop airlines from landing in the city, including SIA flights

SINGAPORE: Hong Kong’s government had enforced a COVID-19 border regulation 23 times to bar flights from landing in the city for 14 days if an airline is found to have breached requirements. 

Hong Kong’s Department of Health said this on Saturday (Apr 3) in response to CNA’s queries, after it was announced that Singapore Airlines (SIA) passenger flights departing from Singapore will temporarily not be allowed to land in Hong Kong. 

This was triggered by a COVID-19 case on flight SQ882 on Mar 31. 

The 28-year-old woman arrived in Hong Kong from Indonesia. According to the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Friday, she was a transit passenger who was negative for the coronavirus in a pre-departure swab but later tested positive upon arrival in Hong Kong. 

She was asymptomatic.

READ: Singapore Airlines passenger flights to Hong Kong suspended after COVID-19 testing ‘trigger point’ breached: CAAS

In addition, three other transit passengers on the SIA flight had undergone COVID-19 pre-departure tests at clinics in their places of origin that did not meet Hong Kong’s requirements, said CAAS. 

Flights will be banned from landing in Hong Kong if: 

  • A flight has five or more passengers confirmed to have COVID-19, through specimens collected at the Hong Kong Department of Health’s Temporary Specimen Collection Centre
  • Two consecutive flights from the same original port of the same airline have three or more passengers confirmed to have COVID-19
  • A flight has one or more passengers confirmed to have COVID-19 and one or more cases who failed to comply with the requirements specified under Chapter 599H. 

“If either of the above criteria is met, the passenger flights from the relevant original port of the airline concerned will be prohibited from landing in Hong Kong for 14 days,” said Hong Kong’s Department of Health.

CAAS said on Friday that SIA breached one of the “trigger points”, adding: “Other airlines have also similarly breached the trigger points before as the Hong Kong authorities enforce them strictly.” 

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