7-day PCR testing regime, N95 masks & face shields for all airport workers to mitigate Omicron variant: CAAS

Additional measures to protect the aviation community.

Fasiha Nazren | December 22, 2021, 11:55 AM

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In light of the rapid spread of the Omicron Covid-19 variant overseas, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will take proactive and preemptive steps to manage the inflow of Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) travellers and mitigate the risk to the Singapore community.

In a press release from CAAS on Dec. 22, it added that additional safeguards will also be implemented to protect frontline airport workers and air crew.

Measures to protect aviation community

These are the stepped-up safeguards and requirements that will be implemented to protect the aviation community:

  • Enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) including N95 masks and face shields will be provided for all airport workers who interact with arriving passengers, including those working in public areas such as taxi stands.
  • All frontline airport workers will also minimally be placed on seven-day Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) rostered routine testing (RRT), instead of the current seven-day Antigen Rapid Test (ART) RRT cycle.For higher risk frontline airport workers, there will be an employer-supervised ART on the third day in between their seven-day PCR testing cycle.
  • Enhanced seven-day PCR RRT regime with an employer-supervised ART on the third day of the cycle for Singapore air crew.

Other measures taken since November

Previously, CAAS implemented various measures to protect airport workers, air crew and public health in Singapore when reports of the Omicron variant first emerged in late-November 2021.

These include restricting entry for travellers with recent travel history to sub-Saharan Africa, deferring the launch of some VTLs, tightening test protocols for VTL travellers and tightening PPE and testing protocols for airport workers and air crew.

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Top photo by Joshua Lee.

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