Hong Kong airport said transit flights from high-risk countries will be restricted over COVID from January 16 to February 15.
Hong Kong announced
Hong Kong declared a ban on passengers from more than 150 countries transiting its airport on Friday as China ramps up strict anti-virus travel measures along with the Winter Olympics.
The move deepens Hong Kong‘s international isolation and comes as Beijing battles to stamp out a flurry of Delta and Omicron outbreaks in the only major economy still pursuing a staunch zero-Covid strategy.
Like mainland China, Hong Kong has maintained some of the world’s harshest measures throughout the pandemic — including weeks-long quarantines, targeted lockdowns, and mass testing.
- The Chinese business hub ranks territories into categories established on how widespread their Covid-19 infections are, with 153 countries now classified as Group A — from which comings must spend 21 days in quarantine.
Hong Kong’s airport told anyone who has spent time in the last three weeks in any of those countries would be restricted from transiting from Sunday.
Eight Group A countries
Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, Britain, and the United States — are already banned entirely from coming to Hong Kong.
The city is battling a little outbreak of the Omicron variant that began with returning Cathay Pacific flight crew who breached home quarantine rules.
It has reimposed strict social distancing rules, including closing gyms and halting restaurant dining after 6 pm, and has told Cathay Pacific might face legal action.
Cathay Pacific is already flying just a fraction of its pre-pandemic routes and many of its long-haul flights transit through its home city.
Other airlines have dramatically scaled back routes to Hong Kong or begun avoiding it altogether because of the quarantine rules.
It is not clear whether the transit suspension will affect the Winter Olympics, with many athletes and officials expected to travel to China via Hong Kong in the coming days ahead of next month’s opening of the Games.
The suspension was first informed by Bloomberg News this week citing sources who said it would not apply to diplomats, officials, and athletes heading to the Olympics.
Hong Kong airport statement on
But the Hong Kong airport report on Friday listed no exemptions for Olympic delegates and a spokesperson did not immediately reply to a request for clarity.
Mainland China is battling its own coronavirus outbreaks in several cities, testing the country’s strict “zero-Covid” strategy just weeks ahead of the Games, which will be held in a bubble that seals all participants off from the wider population.
Almost 13 million people in the historic city of Xi’an were sent into lockdown last month after the Delta variant was detected silently spreading. On Thursday officials said some sections of the city could now be deemed a lower risk, suggesting the outbreak there might be easing.
But the positively contagious Omicron variant has also been detected, originally in the port city of Tianjin which is close to both Beijing and Olympic venues.
Multiple rounds of mass testing have been rolled out across the city as well as partial lockdowns, with car giants such as Toyota and Volkswagen had to halt production.
- Pilot rescued by LAPD Officer before a train hits his crashed plane
- Qatar Airways celebrates 25th-anniversary with launching super Sale
From Tianjin, Omicron has spread to the city of Anyang, population 5.5 million, which was sent into lockdown along with Dalian, another key port city.
China’s financial hub of Shanghai has also reported two local cases this week, the variant undeclared. The megacity declared Friday that it was suspending interprovincial tour groups.
Cases have also been seen in the southern tech hub of Shenzhen, which boasts a key container port, with rounds of mass testing and some travel restrictions implemented.
Stay updated with aviationa2z.com
Source : NDTV