In an internal memo sent to Cathay Pacific staff members, the airline announced to its workers that there would be times that select passengers could remove their masks during flight. The airline will now allow for business and first-class passengers to remove their masks during flight, as long as they are in the fully reclined position in their seats. The airline says the reasoning behind the update is to improve passenger satisfaction. The Hong Kong flag carrier says that the distance between seats in the premium cabins, as well as the structures in place, such as seat dividers, are adequate for providing a safe environment to all passengers. The airline also emphasizes its use of HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Arresters) filters and claims that the system filters 99.999% of airborne contaminants such as COVID-19, as well as all dust and other pollutants.
The airline has been relatively loose with their COVID restrictions, previously allowing passengers to remove their masks when they felt social distancing could be sustained. This recent move, though, has caused many employees to say the airline has taken it a step too far, putting their health and safety at risk by easing the restrictions even more. In response to these claims, the airline says that with the rollout of multiple vaccines, as well as more and more testing, the potential of contracting the virus onboard an aircraft is very difficult, and getting more difficult each day. Many are criticizing the airline for putting business and wealth above the health and safety of its passengers.
What are your thoughts on these new rules? Do you agree with them?
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