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Covid Panic Takes Hold of Shanghai Airport

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

Shanghai biggest international airport descended into Covid chaos on the evening of Sunday 29 November. When two cargo handlers at Pudong Airport tested positive for Covid-19, authorities ordered a mass testing drive.

Shanghai airport
Shanghai’s airport was plunged into chaos after two cargo handlers tested positive for COVID-19

All cargo staff were ordered to undergo coronavirus tests overnight, and a temporary testing site was set up in a parking garage. Photos and videos on Chinese social media revealed scenes of chaos, with hundreds of people tightly packed together in the garage. But the chaos appeared to have calmed before midnight, when social media started showing workers in orderly lines waiting for the tests.

The chaos appeared to calm before midnight, with social media showing workers in orderly lines

According to Reuters, hundreds of flights were cancelled as a result. And now, new Covid regulations are expected to lead to cargo delays.

Geodis told customers: “All cargo terminals have been shut down and all cargo operations were obliged to stop over the weekend. Import handling is progressing, but with expected delays. Customs inspections have also closed until further notice.”

Airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Cabo Verde, Lufthansa, Nippon Airways, Polar Air Cargo and Air China, had flights impacted by the lockdown. In addition, local authorities requested all ULDs to be disinfected upon arrival.

Delays are expected in the coming days as new regulations come into play.

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