SWISS shuns Hong Kong over strict crew quarantine rules

A health worker directs travellers to the arrival hall before being dispatched to quarantine hotels at Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong, China. Keystone

Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS) announced that it is suspending its flights from Zurich to Hong Kong temporarily. This is due to the tightening of quarantine regulations for crew members" on arrival to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

This content was published on December 4, 2021 - 13:26

Four flights between December 4 and 11 are affected by the cancellation, Swiss spokeswoman Karin Müller told the Keystone-SDA news agency on Saturday. The decision was first reported by the airline news portal aeroTELEGRAPHExternal link.

The decision was taken "after careful consideration", according to Switzerland’s flag carrier, which is owned by Germany’s Lufthansa. The company said the situation is under constant review and that it would contact the passengers affected by this move.

Hong Kong, one of the first places to document an important case of Omicron, this week tightened already stringent epidemic measures. Like mainland China, it is pursuing a zero-Covid strategy.

Switzerland has also introduced stricter entry rules as the world scrambles to curb the spread of the Omicron variant, recently identified by South African scientists.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that airlines will lose more than $200 billion (CHF185 billion)External link in 2020 and 2021 as a result of the pandemic.

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