Written by Ian Cross
As the world gradually recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic, society is re-opening; some places more tentatively than others.
During the pandemic it introduced an equally wide range of containment measures. Many were in Asia where strong containment measures at first limited the spread of the virus. However, slow and low vaccination rates mean many restrictions on movement remains.
The following are some of the toughest and strangest Lockdown measures:
Diapers in China
During the height of the pandemic, Chinese authorities mandated that on board airline personnel such as flight attendants wear disposable diapers so they didn’t need to use the bathroom.
In a directive on PPE (personal protective equipment) authorities advised cabin crew on flights to and from high-risk countries to wear “medical masks, double-layer disposable medical gloves, goggles, disposable hats, disposable protective clothing, and disposable shoe covers.” Another sentence read: “It is recommended that cabin crew members wear disposable diapers and avoid using the lavatories barring special circumstances to avoid infection risks.”
Supporters of this requirement said it was no secret that lavatories could be the “germiest place on an airplane”. It pointed to a woman traveling from Italy to South Korea who contracted coronavirus during her trip. A visit to the bathroom, the only place where she didn’t wear a mask, was named as the possible source of her infection.
Australia’s internal border restrictions NSW/Queensland border
These draconian measures have been compounded by internal border closures between Australian states. Under Australia’s Federal system, state leaders have control over their borders and during the pandemic they have not been afraid to use these powers.
- The Queensland closed its border to all non-essential workers including teachers, tradesmen and hospitality workers.
- More than 6,000 vehicles have been intercepted at the border, with 606 turned back.
- The restrictions are a further economic blow for the border community.
- The Queensland government drafted in 1,000 troops to help its police force at the border.
Anal swabs in China
Japanese authorities complained about the tests on some Japanese travellers to China, saying they had caused “great psychological pain”. South Korean visitors were then allowed to submit stool samples instead of “Chinese authorities taking them directly”, according to the South Korean foreign ministry.