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Singapore Airlines passenger flights to Hong Kong suspended after COVID-19 testing 'trigger point' breached: CAAS

Singapore Airlines passenger flights to Hong Kong suspended after COVID-19 testing 'trigger point' breached: CAAS

A man walks past a Singapore Airlines signage at Changi Airport. (Photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

SINGAPORE: Singapore Airlines’ flights to Hong Kong were suspended after the airline breached one of the city’s “trigger points” for COVID-19 testing requirements, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) said on Friday (Apr 2).

SIA passenger flights departing from Singapore will not be allowed to land in Hong Kong from Apr 3 to Apr 16, the government of Hong Kong said earlier on Friday.

Hong Kong authorities said in a press release that a passenger on SQ882, flying from Singapore to Hong Kong on Mar 31, was confirmed to have COVID-19 after being tested upon arrival in the city. 

In response to CNA's queries, a spokesperson for Hong Kong's Department of Health said the confirmed case is Case 11482, a 28-year-old woman who arrived in Hong Kong from Indonesia. She was asymptomatic.

Three other passengers had also “failed to comply” with requirements specified under Hong Kong’s disease control regulations.

Under Hong Kong’s COVID-19 testing requirements for arriving air passengers, the city has “set trigger points whereby airlines could face suspension”, said a CAAS spokesperson.

READ: Hong Kong government bars Singapore Airlines passenger flights from Apr 3 to 16; COVID-19 case detected

“SIA breached one of the trigger points. Other airlines have also similarly breached the trigger points before as the Hong Kong authorities enforce them strictly.”

The individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is a transit passenger. The passenger had tested negative prior to departure but later tested positive upon arrival, said the authority.

The three “non-compliant passengers” were also transit passengers who had undergone COVID-19 pre-departure tests at clinics in their places of origin that did not meet Hong Kong’s requirements, said CAAS. All three passengers tested negative for COVID-19.

SIA confirmed on Friday evening that it has been asked to suspend its daily passenger service from Singapore to Hong Kong from Apr 3 to Apr 16. Passenger service from Hong Kong to Singapore is not affected.

“SIA has taken immediate steps to strengthen checks at the point of embarkation to ensure that our customers are in compliance with Hong Kong’s regulatory requirements. We will also assist the health authorities in all contact tracing efforts related to this case,” it added.

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Source: CNA/zl(ac)/mi