29 Jun 2020

Bloomfield to meet Air NZ chief exec over hotel rules for staff

6:04 pm on 29 June 2020

Health officials are reviewing the rules which allow international airline crew to stay at hotels during layovers which are also used by the public.

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Photo: 123rf.com

Ministry of Health advice states air crew from overseas who have a stopover of one night or more can stay at hotels with other guests.

The accommodation needs to be approved by their airline and must meet the same criteria as managed isolation facilities, the advice shows.

Crew could stay in a dedicated wing or floor of the accommodation to reduce the likelihood of coming into contact with other guests, but it is not mandatory, it states.

Airline crew are also advised to wear a mask when traveling between the airport and the hotel.

Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said those rules were being audited by the Ministry.

"We're constantly looking to see how we can improve and strengthen the process," Dr Bloomfield said.

Air New Zealand international crew returning home after a trip of between two and seven days abroad are allowed to fly domestically to their homes to self-isolate for 48 hours, before having a virus test and awaiting test results.

They are not required to quarantine or self isolate for 14 days as other international arrivals are.

Dr Bloomfield said he would meet with Air New Zealand's chief executive tomorrow about what else can be done to keep crew safe.

"Which is of course major concern to the airline and crew members. They do not want to be putting themselves or their families at risk, so just to make sure we've got that as tight as possible, and part of that is the move to having masks available for, and provided for, passengers coming across from Australia," Bloomfield said.

Air New Zealand Crew traveling from the United States of America were the highest risk, Dr Bloomfield said, so a health official was sent to Los Angeles to investigate what happens at the airport there.

He was yet to receive the final report from that review, Dr Bloomfield said, but he was confident the restrictions were tight.

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