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Locked in resorts: Hong Kong’s COVID-19 guidelines take psychological toll on Cathay pilots

One in every of Asia’s largest airways, Cathay Pacific, is going through a revolt from pilots who say Hong Kong’s robust quarantine guidelines beneath its zero-COVID insurance policies are endangering their psychological well being, resulting in rising stress and resignations.

Cathay Pacific Airways final week fired three pilots who breached firm guidelines by leaving their resort rooms throughout a layover in Frankfurt and later examined constructive for COVID-19.

The federal government responded by forcing greater than 270 individuals, together with college kids linked to their households, into tiny quarters at a state quarantine camp.

Some pilots declared themselves unfit to fly for his or her first rostered duties upon launch.

The acute instance of pandemic-related precautions beneath China’s zero-COVID coverage highlights the tough working situations going through Cathay pilots, all absolutely vaccinated, at the same time as different Asian nations slowly reopen.

Cathay rivals together with Australia’s Qantas Airways have begun unwinding strict layover insurance policies however the Hong Kong authorities is tightening guidelines additional in step with China, hoping to persuade Beijing to permit cross-border journey.

“I do not assume I can hold this up,” one Cathay pilot who spoke on situation of anonymity informed Reuters. “Simply the stress of potential quarantine of my household and buddies is taking a toll.”

A number of different present and not too long ago departed Cathay pilots informed Reuters morale was low and resignations have been rising a 12 months after many had their pay completely lower by as a lot as 58 per cent.

Excessive stress is a big situation in an trade the place any signal of psychological issues could make it tough to get one other job.

“What is the threat if I say to them I am a bit pressured?” requested a pilot who has spent greater than 200 nights locked in resort rooms away from Hong Kong because the pandemic started. “Does that have an effect on my medical? And then you definately depart right here they usually ask have you ever ever been stood down for psychological causes?”

The pilots additionally expressed frustration with the anomaly of some government-imposed pandemic-related guidelines. Pilots, for instance, are required to keep away from “pointless social contact” for 3 weeks after returning to Hong Kong, however they don’t seem to be given day off to compensate.

Cathay acknowledged to Reuters in an announcement that pilot resignations have risen past regular ranges because the finish of October.

“Regrettably, the incident in Frankfurt has affected present sentiment,” the airline stated.

This text was initially printed by Learn the unique article right here.

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