HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said on Saturday two of its aircrew whom have tested positive for the Omicron variant were sacked for breaching medical surveillance regulations.

Cathay said five of its aircrew had tested positive following their return to Hong Kong from duty, and investigation into the cases had indicated a serious breach of protocols by some of those individuals.

“Failure to comply with medical surveillance regulations will lead to disciplinary procedures. Two of the individuals are no longer employed by Cathay Pacific,” the carrier said in a statement. It gave no further details. The regulations include spending a period quarantining at home after flying.

“The actions of these individuals are extremely disappointing, as they undermine the otherwise exemplary dedication and compliance shown by our over 10,000 aircrew,” Cathay said, adding it would work closely health authorities to reinforce public health protection.

Hong Kong’s health officials said on Friday the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has made its way past some of the world’s toughest COVID-19 restrictions, with the city reporting its first cases outside its strict quarantine system.

The government said on Saturday it was investigating eight additional Omicron cases. (https://bit.ly/3EK3UV8)

(Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Alex Richardson)