Cathay Pacific pilot says he's spent nearly 150 days in Covid quarantine in 2021, report

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A Cathay Pacific Boeing 747.
  • A Cathay Pacific pilot has been in Covid-19 quarantine for nearly 150 days in 2021, he told the BBC.
  • Cathay Pacific crew must follow Hong Kong's strict quarantine rules even when overseas, the BBC said.
  • Travellers entering Hong Kong are required to isolate for between 14 and 21 days.
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A Cathay Pacific pilot said he's spent nearly 150 days in quarantine this year because of Hong Kong's strict Covid-19 rules, the BBC reported on Monday.

"You're just in a perpetual state of quarantine," the BBC reported the anonymous pilot as saying. "We are in quarantine from when we show up at work until we get back to Hong Kong."

Travellers entering Hong Kong are required to isolate for between 14 and 21 days depending on their vaccination status and which country they arrive from. They must also show confirmation that they're booked into a designated quarantine hotel. Some travellers coming from certain high-risk countries have to stay in a quarantine centre for a week.

These rules also apply to aircraft crew. Cathay Pacific's aircrew must also obey Hong Kong's strict quarantine rules while they're on layovers in other countries, the BBC said.

The Cathay Pacific pilot told the BBC: "You go directly from your room to the aeroplane. Fly, and then go directly back to your room and you're locked up in your room until you leave again."

The pilot described a Hong Kong quarantine facility as like being in "solitary confinement. I couldn't even see any plants, not a single blade of grass."

Cathay Pacific told Insider: "We have done all we can to support our teams by managing what we can control." The airline said it has offered financial incentives, periods of free time after work shifts, options for extended leave of absence, support groups, and mentors.

"We fully acknowledge that these rules and the length of time they have been in force are placing a burden on our aircrew, all of whom have been exemplary in their conduct and professionalism throughout this difficult period," Cathay Pacific said.

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