,Hong Kong

Hong Kong airport imposes vaccine requirement on all staff

The first phase of the new requirement will take effect on 1 September.

The Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) will be requiring airport staff of targeted groups to be vaccinated amidst threats of COVID-19.

The airport staff will not have an option to replace the vaccine requirement with frequent testing, the AA noted.

The targeted groups covered by the new requirement will include those handling high-risk cargo or having unavoidable close-range contact with arrival and transfer/transit passengers and crew within 1.5 metres without partition or barrier, such as airline and ground agent staff, ramp coordinator, inflight catering coordinator, cargo loading staff, as well as cabin and lavatory cleaners.

Airport operators including airlines must only deploy vaccinated staff to perform the relevant duties.

The new measure will be applied in two phases with the first, taking effect on 1 September. During such time, those belonging to the targeted groups must have completed at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Those who have completed one dose or are fully vaccinated are required to undergo a test every seven days.

In phase 2, with effect from 30 September, all staff of the targeted groups must have completed two doses of vaccination, and are required to take a test every seven days.

A medical exemption is not accepted in both phases. To date, over 80% of the staff in the targeted groups have received the first dose of vaccination.

The new requirements are implemented on top of the rules introduced on 1 August that all staff entering the airport restricted area must be fully vaccinated, or be able to produce a negative test result.

The new requirements are further enhancement of related measures in view of the latest COVID-19 case involving an airline lounge staff.

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