CE summons Cathay bosses over rule-breaching staff

Health Secretary Sophia Chan said on Friday that Chief Executive Carrie Lam had summoned the chairman and CEO of Cathay Pacific to express the government’s “strong dissatisfaction” with breaches of the company’s isolation rules by staff infected with Covid.

Chan said four Cathay crew members had tested positive for the virus, with one of them spreading the Omicron variant to his father and another diner at a restaurant in the Festival Walk shopping mall in Kowloon Tong.

Tightened quarantine arrangements for cargo aircrew members have been introduced as a result, with all those returning from overseas or Taiwan having to undergo hotel quarantine for a week instead of the previously announced three days.

The health minister said some Cathay staff returning to the city had breached the airline’s three-day self-isolation rule by going to crowded places, describing their actions as “irresponsible”.

Chan added that Lam had demanded that Cathay’s chairman review the incident and give the public an explanation.

In response, Cathay apologised for the inconvenience caused by the non-compliant crew members.

The airline’s corporate affairs general manager, Andy Wong, said an internal investigation showed some of the infected workers had committed serious breaches of protocols and that disciplinary action would be taken.

He also said the company will work closely with the authorities, adding that the airline is requiring all eligible aircrew to get a third dose of a Covid vaccine to safeguard public health.