Taipei, Strict measures forcing the cabin crew and pilots of local airlines to be quarantined at home between flights to combat the new coronavirus disease were put in place Friday with immediate effect, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.
All flight crews working on long haul passenger flights that require them to enter a foreign country to rest will be subject to five days of home quarantine after returning to Taiwan, said Clark Lin (林俊良), director of the CAA’s Flight Standards Division.
The home quarantine period for cargo flights will be three days, Lin said.
Prior to Friday’s announcement, flight crews of domestic airlines were exempt from the requirement set on March 19 that all people entering Taiwan from abroad were required to quarantine themselves at home for 14 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
The new guidelines allow for quarantine periods of fewer than 14 days because such flexibility is necessary for the aviation industry to transport overseas passengers and carry essential supplies, Lin said.
Under the rules, once crew members have arrived in foreign countries, they must be transported separately to designated hotels and isolated there until the return leg while reporting their body temperatures every day.
At home, the crew members are not allowed to leave their homes at all during their five-day or three-day quarantines.
But if they have a longer time in Taiwan between flights than the five- or three-day periods, they must still observe a looser quarantine during that additional time up to 14 days in which they can go out to handle daily living needs, according to Lin.
“The airline companies must arrange for these people to seek medical treatment if they develop symptoms” while in isolation at home, he said.
The change in standard operating procedures for quarantines for flight attendants and pilots is a result of the changing status of the pandemic, Lin said, adding that short-haul flight personnel will not be affected.
Previously, airline crew were not subject to the home-quarantine requirement as long as they followed the SOP while overseas.
That practice raised concerns, particularly this week after two cargo flight pilots with China Airlines were confirmed to have contracted the disease.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel