|A man enters a community testing centre at Hong Kong International Airport, following infections of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hong Kong, Jan 11, 2022. (File photo by=Reuters/Lam Yik)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] 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, Reuters reported.
The move comes as the city has seen about 50 cases of the fast-spreading Omicron variant since the end of last year. 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. The Chinese-ruled city has followed 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.