Hong Kong suspends transit flights from most of the world due to Covid-19

14/1/2022 12:45:00 PM

Hong Kong suspends transit flights from most of the world due to Covid-19

Covid-19, Coronavirus

Hong Kong suspends transit flights from most of the world due to Covid-19

HONG KONGHong Kong will suspend for a month transit flights from around 150 countries and territories considered high risk because of the coronavirus, deepening the global financial hub's isolation.

Prior to the outbreak, which authorities said could be traced back to two aircrew members of Cathay Pacific Airways, the city had had no local transmissions for over three months.Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement on Friday (Jan 14) that any persons who have stayed in places classified as high risk by health authorities in the 21 days before travelling cannot transit through the city from Jan 16 until Feb 15.

The measure was taken"in order to control the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant”, it said.Hong Kong currently classifies more than 150 countries and territories as high risk.Last week, it banned incoming flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain and the United States, including interchanges.

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The move comes as the city has seen around 50 cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant since the end of last year.Hong Kong's first transmission of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected at the end of last year after three months of zero infections in the community, prompting authorities to tighten quarantine measures, including on air crew, and reintroduce wide-ranging restrictions on social life.LinkedIn HONG KONG: Hong Kong will suspend for a month transit flights from about 150 countries and territories considered high risk because of the coronavirus, deepening the global financial hub's isolation.A flight attendant walks under an information board at the arrivals hall of Hong Kong International Airport, following infections of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in Hong Kong, China January 11, 2022.

Prior to the outbreak, which authorities said could be traced back to two aircrew members of Cathay Pacific Airways, the city had had no local transmissions for over three months. Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement on Friday (Jan 14) that any persons who have stayed in places classified as high risk by health authorities in the 21 days before travelling cannot transit through the city from Jan 16 until Feb 15. Authorities said the outbreak could be traced back to two air crew members of Cathay Pacific Airways who broke self-isolation rules. The measure was taken"in order to control the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant”, it said. Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement on Friday (Jan 14) that any persons who have stayed in places classified as high risk by health authorities in the 21 days before travelling cannot transit through the city from Jan 16 until Feb 15. Hong Kong currently classifies more than 150 countries and territories as high risk. The tighter rules prompted Cathay to cancel most of its planned passenger and cargo flights in January. Last week, it banned incoming flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain and the United States, including interchanges. The measure was taken "in order to control the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant," it said.

The Chinese-ruled city has followed mainland China's policy in adopting a zero-tolerance towards local Covid-19 cases even as much of the world shifts towards living with the coronavirus. Mrs Lam, speaking at the opening session of the Asian financial hub's new"patriots-only" legislature, said Hong Kong already had the strictest measures against imported coronavirus infections and it was difficult to tighten them further. Related:. In recent weeks, authorities have tightened quarantine restrictions on air crew and reintroduced curbs on social life. Fifteen type of venues, including bars and clubs, cinemas, gyms and beauty salons were ordered to close, while dining in restaurants is banned after 6pm."We almost have no goods entering via cargo flight. Primary schools and kindergartens have also shuttered. The government is expected to announce later on Friday that the restrictions will be extended through the Lunar New Year holiday at the start of February." Mrs Lam said she expected some goods to be unavailable or their price to go up, with food, electronics and medicine among the worst affected. Fifteen type of venues, including bars and clubs, cinemas, gyms and beauty salons were ordered to close, while dining in restaurants is banned after 6pm.

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