Hong Kong bans Cebu Pacific flights

HONG KONG, 6 September 2021: Hong Kong has banned Cebu Pacific Air flights until 16 September after four disembarking passengers tested positive for Covid-19.

Another passenger failed to comply with requirements specified under Hong Kong’s strict preventative and control of diseases regulations, according to the Centre for Health Protection of the Department of Health.

The government’s website reported that the passengers arrived on flight (5J272) operated by Cebu Pacific Air from Manila to Hong Kong on 1 September. Health authorities immediately issued an order prohibiting the landing of passenger flights from Manila operated by Cebu Pacific Air from 3 to 16 September.

It’s the second airline based in the Philippines to be banned by health authorities. Last week, Philippine Airlines and Turkish Airlines faced a two-week ban on flights to Hong Kong. 

In a statement, Cebu Pacific offered passengers a free change of flight dates for up to 30 days from the initial departure dates.

Most of the passengers are so-called domestic “helpers” returning to Hong Kong to resume employment. The only alternative following the banning of PAL and Cebu Pacific is to fly Cathay Pacific, which offers flights from Manila and Cebu to Hong Kong.

Hong Kong reported 66 cases had been reported in the past 14 days (20 August to 2 September), and all of them are imported cases.

Based on the recent increase in imported cases, mostly non-essential travel after vaccination, the spokesman for the CHP stressed: “The global situation of Covid-19 infection remains severe, and there is a continuous increase in cases involving mutant strains that carry higher transmissibility, and there are also reports of breakthrough infections in some vaccinated individuals.

“The CHP strongly urges the public to avoid all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong, in particular to specified places with high risk,” according to the statement.

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