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Hong Kong bans flights from India, seven other nations until January 21


Hong Kong on Wednesday reinstated travel restrictions, banning flights from 8 countries including India until January 21. The decision was taken in view of ballooning Covid-19 cases in the region.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said travellers from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the UK and the US, including via transit —are banned from returning to the city for two weeks starting Saturday, as per local reports.

The Chinese city reimposed some of the toughest Covid-19 restrictions such as shuttering bars, gyms, 6-pm curfew on restaurants, long quarantines and travel bans.

As many as 114 Omicron cases were reported in Hong Kong on Tuesday with most of the cases being detected at the airport or during the 21-day long quarantine which is mandatory for most travellers.

Lam told reporters that health officials fear that new variant is spreading through the community at a fast pace.  

“There has been rapid change in the pandemic situation which has caused us to be worried. We will announce today fast, decisive and precise measures to cut the transmission chains,” Lam told reporters at a press conference.

The two-week ban on passenger flights will be effective until January 21.

She added that travellers who visited the 8 countries or had transited through them will not be allowed to return to Hong Kong or two weeks.

She said the tough measures were necessary to stop the “highly transmissive Omicron variant from spreading further in the community and to prevent public hospitals from being overloaded with COVID-19 patients”.


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