Hong Kong announced Tuesday that travelers arriving at the region’s main airport would be screened for coronavirus, making it the first airport in the world to require testing for all incoming passengers.
According to Fortune.com, government officials revealed that every airline passenger who arrives at Hong Kong International Airport will now be tested for coronavirus whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms.
Once the passengers arrive at the Hong Kong airport, they will deplane and board shuttle buses operated by the region’s health department to a temporary “specimen collection center” where they will test saliva from every traveler.
Passengers who complete the testing will then be shown their accommodations at the AsiaWorld-Expo convention center, where they will be forced to stay for 14 days as part of the government-mandated quarantine.
The government said it would enforce the quarantine via tracking wristbands.
“If a sample tests positive, the CHP will notify the person concerned as early as possible and arrange for admission to a public hospital for treatment,” a statement from Hong Kong read. “In general, if no notification is received within three working days after returning a sample, it means the test result is negative and the person concerned is required to continue the compulsory quarantine until the quarantine period ends.”
For passengers arriving from regions deemed high-risk, such as the United Kingdom and areas of China, they will be forced to wait at the collection center until the results of faster tests are revealed. Confirmed cases will immediately be transported to local hospitals, while travelers who test negative will be moved to the quarantine areas.
“As the testing takes time, the people concerned might need to stay at the venue to wait for eight hours or more and those arriving at night might have to wait longer,” the statement continued. “The DH urged for the understanding and patience from inbound travelers on the arrangement.”
Passengers aren’t the only people on planes getting sick, as the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) found that around 100 flight attendants have tested positive for coronavirus.
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