Amid COVID-19 threat, Hong Kong suspends transit flights from around 150 countries

Amid a high-risk situation due to the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, Hong Kong has decided to suspend transit flights from around 150 countries and territories considered dangerous for a month. The suspension will come into force on Sunday. 

In a statement on its website, the Hong Kong International Airport said: “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.” 

As per the statement, 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 January 16 until February 15. 

ALSO READ | Two new COVID-19 treatments approved by World Health Organization

Hong Kong currently classifies more than 150 countries and territories as high risk and the latest measure was taken “in order to control the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant”.

Since the ‘variant of concern’ Omicron was detected in November last year, Hong Kong has seen around 50 cases caused by it. 

Previously, Hong Kong banned incoming flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain and the United States, including interchanges. 

Meanwhile, the authorities have tightened the quarantine restrictions on aircrew and reintroduced curbs on social life.