American Airways was pressured to cancel a scheduled passenger flight from Sydney to Los Angeles on Friday after all the crew of flight attendants had been pressured into quarantine when one returned a “attainable optimistic” COVID-19 check following routine surveillance testing.
Well being officers in New South Wales ramped up their Coronavirus protocols for worldwide flight attendants late final yr following a sequence of embarrassing incidents involving overseas airways. In consequence, flight attendants are routinely examined earlier than they’re allowed to get on their airplane dwelling.
In a single incident, a flight attendant is believed to have unintentionally contaminated a lodge cleaner, whereas in one other a bunch of flight attendants ignored isolation guidelines and left their lodge. Each incidents prompted huge public well being responses in a rustic that has performed exceptionally nicely in holding the pandemic at bay.
American Airways flight AA72 needed to be cancelled on Friday after an preliminary COVID-19 check on one of many working crew members got here again as “attainable optimistic”.
“The crew member was examined as a part of routine surveillance. They’re at the moment in particular well being lodging,” NSW Well being stated in a press release. The opposite crew members are all thought-about shut contacts and have been put into necessary lodge quarantine.
“A secondary COVID check has been administered and we’re awaiting the laboratory outcome,” a spokesperson for American Airways defined as hypothesis mounted that the optimistic outcome might even have been the results of a previous an infection that the flight attendant had absolutely recovered from.
The chance of beforehand contaminated folks returning a false optimistic outcome once they aren’t infectious is the rationale why nations like the US settle for proof of latest an infection as an alternative of a unfavorable COVID-19 check.
“The well-being of our prospects and workforce members is our high precedence,” American stated in an emailed assertion. “All prospects have been re-accommodated on tomorrow’s flight and have been supplied with lodging for the night.”
Worldwide flight attendants should stay in lodge quarantine throughout their layovers in Sydney at lodges specifically authorised and guarded by the authorities. The same old quarantine interval for shut contacts is 14-days however American’s flight attendants at the moment in isolation is perhaps allowed to go away earlier.
Some airways have managed to get crew launched earlier than the top of the 14-day quarantine interval by working freight solely flight with no passengers and solely the crew onboard.
Emirates briefly halted its flights to Sydney following the introduction of the testing guidelines over fears that its crew and planes could possibly be routinely stranded in Australia.
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