High-risk staff must be vaccinated: Airport Authority

The Airport Authority on Friday said it was making Covid-19 vaccinations compulsory for staff who handle high-risk cargo or come into unavoidable close contact with transit and incoming passengers and crew.

It added that negative test results or medical exemptions will no longer be accepted for these staff members from September 1.

They will need to have completed at least one dose from the start of next month, and have had both doses by September 30. On top of that, these airport staff members will be required to take a test every seven days.

The authority said it was taking this step after a recent infection involving an airline lounge staff member.

Infectious diseases expert Leung Chi-chiu agreed with the new measures, but said authorities can do even more.

“These measures are correct measures in the right direction. But they, by themselves, cannot completely eliminate the risk because, with the Delta variant, the incubation is quite short – often with a mean of only about four days,” he said. “In that sort of scenario, we do need to consider more frequent testing of frontline airport workers.”

Leung added that those who are medically unfit to be vaccinated should be redeployed to other duties.