Three EVA Airways flight attendants were fired last month and this month after they failed to follow the government’s quarantine requirements.
This was the first time that flight attendants have lost their jobs for quarantine failures.
One flight attendant reportedly breached the quarantine mandate by going to school, visiting relatives and dining with friends, while lying to the company about her activities, EVA Air said.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) have established disease prevention measures for cabin crew members, such as monitoring their health and reporting their temperature daily, the company said.
While on flight duty, crew members must wear nitrile medical gloves, protective gear, masks and goggles, it said, adding that they are prohibited from interacting with locals at their destination, but must stay in their hotel and dine with other crew members.
Airline supervisors at overseas destinations randomly check on the crew at their hotel and remind them to compy with the government’s disease prevention measures, EVA Air said, adding that crew must undergo a five-day home quarantine upon their return to Taiwan.
Despite COVID-19 cases rising in other countries, the government gave airlines permission to operate overseas because they agreed to strictly adhere to disease prevention guidelines, the airline said.
As a result, cabin crew members do not need to quarantine for 14 days whenever they re-enter Taiwan, it added.
Despite constant reminders on and off duty, a few crew members ignore their shared responsibility to contain the virus’ spread, but the company said that its personnel disciplinary committee had conducted an investigation and issued penalties.
On the sidelines of a session at the Legislative Yuan, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) told reporters that airlines must fully comply with CDC guidelines.
After looking into the matter, the ministry was letting EVA Air’s management take proper action, he added.
Later yesterday, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥), who is the Central Epidemic Command Center’s (CECC) spokesman, said that over the past three months, three EVA Air flight attendants and two China Airlines flight attendants breached quarantine requirements.
Due to the special nature of their jobs, prevention measures for crew members on Taiwanese carriers are managed by the airline, he said.
If they are found to have broken quarantine rules, they would be treated as regular members of the public and ordered to complete a 14-day quarantine, he said.
“If cabin crew members fail to thoroughly follow home quarantine rules, we will report them directly to the CDC and follow the CECC’s guidance about what to do,” China Airlines said.
“We will also continue to remind our workers of the importance of enforcing disease prevention measures, and employees who contravene company policy will be dealt with according to our workers’ code of conduct,” it added.
Additional reporting by Sherry Hsiao
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