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Pilots, cabin crew of Singapore carriers returning from overseas to be tested for COVID-19

Pilots, cabin crew of Singapore carriers returning from overseas to be tested for COVID-19

Singapore Airlines flight attendants wearing masks at Changi Airport Terminal 3's arrivals hall. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: Pilots and cabin crew working for Singapore carriers will be routinely tested for COVID-19 from Aug 20 after they return from overseas, said the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) on Monday (Aug 17).

This is on top of the health and safety protocols put in place earlier by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and CAAS.

However, air crew returning from places where travellers can serve their stay-home notice at their own accommodation will be exempt from the COVID-19 testing.

These include mainland China, South Korea, Taiwan and Australia - with the exception of the state of Victoria.

READ: Extra stimulus for aerospace, aviation and tourism sectors; Singaporeans to get S$320m worth of local tourism credits

"Existing protocols have been effective in keeping air crew of Singapore carriers safe as there have been no positive COVID-19 cases among air crew of Singapore carriers for more than three months," said CAAS in a media release.

"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."

Pilots and cabin crew will be swabbed using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test.

READ: COVID-19: Mandatory for SIA, SilkAir and Scoot passengers to wear face masks on board, observe safe distancing

There is currently no requirement for pilots and cabin crew to be tested for the coronavirus. 

Earlier measures put in place include having air crew wear a mask at all times, as well as put on goggles or face shields when interacting with passengers. 

Crew on turnaround flights are not allowed to disembark, except to carry out external safety inspections of the aircraft, or for health or security screening.

Those on layover flights must travel via dedicated transport arranged by the airline to get between the airport and the crew accommodation.

Singapore on Monday reported 91 new COVID-19 cases as of noon, including six imported infections. This brings the country's tally of cases to 55,838. 

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Source: CNA/lk(gs)

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