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

Its airport said, on Friday, that passengers from more than 150 countries will be prevented from transiting through Hong Kong, in the latest tightening of the city’s strict travel measures to combat the virus.

The move deepens Hong Kong’s global isolation as the city pursues a strict no-COVID policy and creates new problems for airlines, some of which have begun shunning Chinese territory due to strict quarantine rules.

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Hong Kong categorizes areas based on the prevalence of COVID-19 infections, with 153 countries currently classified as Group A, from which arrivals must spend 21 days in quarantine.

Hong Kong airport tightened on Friday those measures.

“Passenger transfer/transit services through Hong Kong International Airport will be suspended for any persons who have resided in designated Group A venue(s) in the past 21 days,” the airport said in a statement, adding that the ban was necessary to control. Omicron variable spread.

The suspension will go into effect on Sunday for a month.

Eight countries from the first group, including Australia, Canada, France, India, the Philippines, Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States, are already completely barred from access to Hong Kong.

The city is battling a small spread of the omicron variant that began with returning Cathay Pacific crew who violated home quarantine rules.

It has reimposed strict social distancing rules, including closing gyms and halting dining in restaurants after 6:00 p.m.

The government is also investigating Cathay Pacific and said the company could face legal action.

Cathy takes up a small portion of her itineraries before the pandemic and many of her long-haul flights pass through her home city.

The transit suspension was first reported by Bloomberg News this week, citing sources who said it would not apply to diplomats, officials and athletes heading to the Winter Olympics in Beijing next month.

The Hong Kong airport statement on Friday did not mention any exceptions for Olympic delegates.

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