Cathay Pacific warned Hong Kong about its new COVID-19 restrictions. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Rising coronavirus cases around the world, sparked by the Omicron variant, continued to play havoc with travel and other industries on the final day of 2021, with flight cancelations and warnings of new supply chain disruptions.
Hong Kong air carrier Cathay Pacific warned the city's government Friday new quarantine measures it instituted recently in face of rising COVID-19 cases will force it to limit passenger and cargo flights.
Hong King issued strict new rules saying that all overseas air crews staying overnight must spend seven days in quarantine at a hotel, more than doubling the previous quarantine time of three days.
"We are wary that any further tightening of air crew quarantine arrangements would lead to reductions inflight frequencies to protect the well-being of our crew members and the overall safety of our operations," Andy Wong, general manager of Cathay Pacific's corporate affairs division, said, according to CNN.
The news comes and carriers across the United States are canceling flights during one of the busiest times of the year due to crew shortages caused by COVID-19.
According to the website FlightAware, airlines have already canceled 2,667 flights for Friday, 1,986 more on New Year's Day and 540 on Sunday. JetBlue said it has also canceled 1,280 flights over the next two weeks in an effort to give passengers extra time to reschedule.
The United States shattered its average daily COVID-19 cases on consecutive days this week, reporting an average of 355,990 new infections reported every day in the past week on Thursday, CNN said from Johns Hopkins University statistics.
The country's leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said the country is probably "a couple of weeks" away from Omicron-induced coronavirus cases reaching their peak because of the number of people who remain unvaccinated. He estimated that cases numbers should start to come down by the end of January.