Returning pilots, cabin crew of SIA, SilkAir, Scoot, Jetstar Asia to be routinely tested for COVID-19

·Editorial Team
·2-min read
A Singapore Airlines stewardess returns from a flight at Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on June 8, 2020, as Singapore prepares to reopen its borders after shutting them to curb the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)
A Singapore Airlines stewardess returns from a flight at Changi International Airport terminal in Singapore on 8 June 2020. (PHOTO: AFP via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — From Thursday (20 August), pilots and cabin crew from local carriers who return to the city-state will be routinely tested for COVID-19.

Currently, there is no requirement for them to be tested.

However, those returning from countries or regions where travellers can serve their stay-home notice at their own accommodation will be exempted from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in a press release on Monday. These include mainland China and South Korea.

The authority also noted that existing protocols have been effective in keeping aircrew members from local carriers safe as there have been no positive COVID-19 cases among them for more than three months.

Such protocols taken by cabin crew and pilots from the four local carriers – Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, Scoot, and Jetstar Asia – include wearing masks during flights and remaining on the aircraft when working on turnaround flights.

“However, there is a need for continued vigilance and COVID-19 testing will provide added assurance for crew, their families and the general public that any imported infection can be quickly detected, and given necessary medical treatment promptly,” the CAAS added.

“Early detection of any positive cases will also minimise chances of community transmission.”

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