Tuesday, 7 December 2021

Hong Kong Covid: The Cathay pilots stuck in 'perpetual quarantine' | BBC

Recently at my local coffee shop I met a partner of Cathay pilot telling me how much time she (the pilot) was having to spend in quarantine to and fro Hong Kong and at the airport sitting around for five hours every landing. All thanks to our Zero Covid Policy. Which is getting even stricter with the panic over Omicron. 

You can’t get a hotel room until April. So you have to stay at the Penny Bay facility. 

This story from the BBC gives more gruesome details of Penny Bay and the toll quarantine is having on pilots. They’re in a “perpetual state of quarantine”:

Hong Kong is one of the world's biggest aviation hubs but also has some of the strictest coronavirus regulations in the world. Two pilots tell the BBC how these rules are affecting their mental health and putting a strain on their personal lives. 

"You're just in a perpetual state of quarantine." 

Pierre*, a pilot with the city's flagship carrier Cathay Pacific, has spent almost 150 days in isolation in this year alone, he says. 

Though Hong Kong has recorded barely any local coronavirus cases in recent months, the city has imposed an extensive testing and quarantine regime, in line with mainland China's zero Covid policy. More…