Two more British Airways cabin crew have tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Hong Kong according to recently released data from the local government. The two female crew members, aged 25 and 31 years old respectively were asymptomatic and should of have had a pre-flight Coronavirus test before even being allowed to board flight BA27 which landed in Hong Kong on November 1.
The news comes just over a month after a member of British Airways cabin crew controversially likened a COVID-19 quarantine facility run by the Hong Kong government to a “literal concentration camp“. The flight attendant had been transferred to the facility along with 12 other crew members after one tested positive on arrival.
Ellie Freeman has since been suspended by British Airways pending an investigation into a series of Snapchat posts she shared about her experience in the quarantine facility. Freeman complained about the basic living conditions, the quality of the food on offer and the fact that the pilots had been allowed to return to London.
The two latest crew are believed to have been transferred to a local hospital for monitoring and treatment. Unlike on the last occasion, it’s not believed that any of the other crew who worked on British Airways flight BA27 have been put into quarantine.
In a statement, a spokesperson for British Airways said: “Our teams in Hong Kong and London are helping to care for our two cabin crew colleagues.”
The statement continued: “We work within local regulations for every country we fly to, and always put the safety and wellbeing of our teams and customers at the heart of everything we do.”
The UK is considered ‘high risk’ by the Hong Kong government meaning that all arriving passengers must have a pre-flight COVID-19 test and a second test on arrival. Passengers must also quarantine for 14 days, while cabin crew are locked in their hotel rooms during their stay in the territory.
Cabin crew are not exempt from the double testing protocol, although the cases will raise questions about the effectiveness of rapid COVID-19 tests approved for use by the Hong Kong government.
Since September 15, Hong Kong is able to temporarily ban airlines that have a high prevalence of passengers testing positive for COVID-19 on arrival. Air India has been forced to suspend flights four times under the strict health regulations. British Airways has not faced any flight bans.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.