Hong Kong to suspend transit flights from 150 high-risk countries due to COVID-19

Passengers from greater than 150 nations might be banned from transiting by way of Hong Kong, its airport mentioned Friday, within the newest tightening of town’s strict anti-virus journey measures.

The transfer deepens Hong Kong’s international isolation as town pursues a staunch zero-COVID coverage and creates new complications for airways, a few of which have begun avoiding the Chinese territory due to its strict quarantine guidelines.

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Hong Kong ranks territories into classes based mostly on how widespread their COVID-19 infections are, with 153 international locations at present categorized as Group A, from which arrivals should spend 21 days in quarantine.

On Friday, Hong Kong’s airport tightened these measures.

“Passenger transfer/transit services via Hong Kong International Airport for any persons who have stayed in Group A specified place(s) in the past 21 days will be suspended,” the airport mentioned in a press release, including that the ban was wanted to manage the Omicron variant’s unfold.

The suspension will come into drive on Sunday, for a month.

Eight Group A international locations that embody Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, the UK and the US, are already banned fully from arriving in Hong Kong.

The metropolis is battling a small outbreak of the omicron variant that started with returning Cathay Pacific crew who breached house quarantine guidelines.

It has reimposed strict social distancing guidelines, together with closing gyms and halting restaurant eating after 6:00 pm.

The authorities can be investigating Cathay Pacific and mentioned the corporate would possibly face authorized motion.

Cathay is flying a fraction of its pre-pandemic routes and plenty of of its long-haul flights transit by way of its house metropolis.

The transit suspension was first reported by Bloomberg News this week citing sources who mentioned it will not apply to diplomats, officers and athletes heading to subsequent month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The Hong Kong airport assertion on Friday listed no exemptions for Olympic delegates.

Read extra:

Hong Kong ramps up COVID-19 controls, bans flights from eight countries

Tianjin begins city-wide testing after at least two local omicron cases detected

England to cut COVID isolation period from 7 to 5 days: UK Health Secretary

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