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Safety measures for airport workers to be increased amid rapid spread of Omicron overseas: CAAS

Safety measures for airport workers to be increased amid rapid spread of Omicron overseas: CAAS

Travellers at Changi Airport in Singapore. (File photo: iStock/Stephane Jaquemet)

SINGAPORE: The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has said it will enhance safety measures for all airport workers who interact with arriving passengers amid "the rapid spread of the Omicron variant overseas". 

Airport workers who interact with passengers - even those in public areas, like the taxi stand - must don enhanced personal protective equipment, including N95 masks and face shields, CAAS said in a release on Wednesday (Dec 22). 

All frontline workers will also be subject to a stricter testing regime. They will "minimally" be placed on seven-day polymerase chain reaction (PCR) rostered routine testing (RRT), instead of the current seven-day antigen rapid test (ART) RRT cycle, said CAAS.

Singapore air crew will undergo an "enhanced" seven-day PCR RRT regime, "with an employer-supervised ART on the third day of the cycle", the authority added. 

CAAS' announcement comes on the same day that the Health Ministry (MOH) announced that all new ticket sales for vaccinated travel lane (VTL) flights and buses will be frozen from Dec 23 to Jan 20 next year. 

The move is to limit Singapore's exposure to imported Omicron COVID-19 cases, said the ministry.

All travellers who already hold a ticket on a VTL flight or bus and meet all other VTL requirements can continue to travel under the quarantine-free travel scheme.

MOH will also temporarily reduce the VTL quotas and ticket sales for travel after Jan 20, 2022.

For entry into Singapore on designated VTL flights from Jan 21, 2022, CAAS will cap the total ticket sales at 50 per cent of the allocated quota.

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Source: CNA/vc(rw)