American Airlines and United Airlines have both cancelled flights to Hong Kong in light of mandatory coronavirus testing of flight crew.
Airline crews, which were previously exempt from COVID-19 testing and quarantines, now must provide saliva samples upon arrival in Hong Kong in addition to medical surveillance for 14 days. Anyone testing positive will be hospitalized.
Hong Kong has experienced a recent spike in coronavirus cases, causing its Department of Health to impose new measures to prevent a wider outbreak.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, many airlines have cancelled international flights. Citing both lack of demand and strict government policies limiting foreign arrivals, airlines have focused on domestic routes since March.
American and United were set to resume certain US – Hong Kong flights.
American suspended its Dallas – Hong Kong flight in January and was schedule to restart it three times a week on July 9. It’s now been delayed until August 5.
United, which flies from San Francisco to Hong Kong, cancelled flights through July 10 while it assesses the required testing protocol.
Hong Kong’s mandatory airline crew tests discovered four cases of COVID-19 earlier this week. Three cases were from Hong Kong Air Cargo pilots after returning from Almaty, Kazakhstan.