Some British Airways cabin crew members are refusing to communicate their vaccination status with the airline for fear of being flown to Hong Kong, where they will face solitary confinement in hotel rooms and maybe detention in the prison-like Penny’s Bay quarantine camp.
Although British Airways has not mandated staff vaccination, it has asked pilots and cabin crew to share their COVID-19 vaccination status since several locations exclude unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated crews.
The airline recently urged cabin workers to share their vaccination status, citing the growing list of countries that require vaccines as a condition of the entrance, which is causing scheduling issues.
As a result of the Omicron variant’s appearance, even more, countries are expected to tighten vaccine requirements in the coming days.
However, some cabin crew members are still unwilling to divulge their vaccination status for fear of being transferred to Hong Kong. Only fully vaccinated aircrew are allowed to fly to Hong Kong, but they must still spend time isolated from the Coronavirus.
After one crew member tested positive for COVID-19 during normal post-arrival departure, another group of pilots and cabin personnel were imprisoned in a government-run quarantine jail in Hong Kong on Saturday. The crew member showed no signs of illness.
A day after another set of BA cabin crew and pilots were released from the camp, the detained crew members were moved to Penny’s Bay.
Emirates and KLM are two of the most well-known airlines in the world. To avoid being quarantined, Royal Dutch Airlines operates flights to Hong Kong via a crew change in Bangkok.
After arriving in Hong Kong on Sunday, a group of Finnair crew members was subjected to a 21-day quarantine order.
Because of the danger of crew detention, British Airways has temporarily suspended flights to Hong Kong; nonetheless, the carrier plans to resume direct flights as soon as feasible.
United Airlines was the first airline in the United States to require employee vaccinations, with a vaccination rate of more than 99 percent among eligible personnel.
Vaccination requirements have been imposed by a number of different airlines, and some only fly with fully vaccinated crews. Etihad Airways is the world’s first airline to only use vaccinated crew members on all flights.
Local rules make a vaccination mandate more difficult for British Airways, but the company has yet to take a public position on vaccination and has not offered any incentives to staff to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.