Passengers not wearing face masks on Vietnamese airlines to be heavily fined

Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) requested all passengers to wear face masks during the flight. Those who violate the rule will be fined up to 3 million VND (US$129.6).
December 13, 2020 | 15:50
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Head of Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam Dinh Viet Thang has recently signed a directive on strictly implementing measures to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, especially on airplanes, Nguoi Lao Dong reported.

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Passengers are forced to wear face masks during the flight. Photo: Zing News

COVID-19 pandemic is still developing complicatedly in many countries in the world. There’s a high risk of cross-infection between passengers and passengers as well as passengers and crew during the flight especially in the context of the New Year holiday is drawing near.

To stem the spread of COVID-19, CAAV required airlines, airports, and relevant agencies to urgently carry out duties and solutions at the Prime Minister's Telegram No. 1711 / CD-TTG dated December 7, 2020, on ensuring traffic order and safety in association with COVID-19 prevention and control during the New Year, Tet Holiday and Spring Festival 2021.

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Passengers check-in at Van Don International Airport. Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong

In addition to the tasks and solutions specified in Directive No. 5244 / CT-CHK dated December 1, 2020, on continuing to stringently realize regulations on COVID-19 prevention and control in the new situation, the CAAV’s Head asked Vietnamese airline carriers to force their passengers to wear face masks during the journey. Violators will be fined up to 3 million VND (US$129.6) according to the provisions of Decree 162/2018. The airlines will closely coordinate with the airport authorities to promptly handle violators.

Previously, a 28-year-old Vietnam Airlines flight attendant was identified as the source of transmission in HCMC's latest Covid-19 outbreak, according to VNExpress.

Through contact tracing, the city identified three other infectees: a teacher who had visited the attendant when the latter was quarantined at home, the teacher’s nephew, and one of his students.

Thousands of people, including teachers and students who’d come into indirect contact with the four patients, were asked to quarantine themselves at home and their samples were taken for testing.

The flight attendant had returned from Japan on November 14 and was quarantined for four days at a Vietnam Airlines facility in Tan Binh District. He breached rules and visited another quarantine area, where he contracted the virus from a colleague who had returned from Romania.

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Two doctors in protective gear stand outside Cu Chi field hospital in HCMC's Cu Chi District.

Photo: VNExpress/Quynh Tran.

After two tests returned negative, he was allowed to go home and isolate himself. But he violated the rules of self-isolation and had contact with his mother and two friends, including the teacher who stayed with him for a few days.

The flight attendant also left home to eat out and attend classes at a university, VNExpress added.

He was suspended from his job and faces possible dismissal, while Vietnam Airlines would be inspected for compliance with Covid-19 prevention regulations, quarantine processes, and supervision at quarantine facilities.

HCMC police opened a criminal investigation into his breach of Covid-19 quarantine protocols.

Vietnam has recorded 1,395 COVID-19 infection cases. 1,238 have recovered while the fatalities remain at 35. Among those still under treatment, three have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, seven twice and 12 thrice. A total of 21,001 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-hit areas are being quarantined nationwide, with 193 at hospitals, 16,302 at concentrated facilities, and 4,506 either at home or accommodations.
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Malie Nguyen
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