Hong Kong introduced strict new anti-coronavirus controls on Wednesday, banning flights from eight nations, shuttering bars and gymnasiums and cancelling night restaurant eating after the Omicron variant was detected throughout the metropolis.
The restrictions are the most recent financial blow to a world enterprise hub pursuing a zero-Covid technique that has saved circumstances low however left residents lower off from the remainder of the world.
Like mainland China, Hong Kong has maintained a few of the world’s harshest measures all through the pandemic — together with nearly closed borders, weeks-long quarantines, focused lockdowns and mass testing.
Town has recorded 114 Omicron circumstances as of Tuesday night, with the overwhelming majority recognized on the airport or through the 21-day lodge quarantine that’s obligatory for many arrivals.
However a small neighborhood outbreak traced to Cathay Pacific airline workers in current days has sparked the imposition of powerful new measures.
Chief govt Carrie Lam stated well being officers now worry the contagious Omicron variant was silently spreading throughout the neighborhood.
“We now have circumstances which have their sources recognized however not the route of transmission,” she instructed reporters.
Flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, UK and US can be banned from midnight on Friday for the following two weeks.
“Passenger flights from these nations won’t be allowed to land in Hong Kong and people who’ve stayed in these nations aren’t allowed to board flights to Hong Kong, together with transit flights,” Lam stated.
All massive scale public occasions could be cancelled whereas over a dozen varieties of companies, together with bars, nightclubs, gyms, and wonder parlours, must shut.
Eating inside eating places can be banned after 6:00 pm, Lam added, though they will proceed to serve takeout.
Hong Kong has bounced between heavy and lightweight restrictions all through the pandemic together with obligatory mask-wearing, limits on greater than 4 individuals gathering in public and restaurant eating quotas even during times when no native circumstances have been detected for weeks at a time.
(Aside from the headline, this story has not been edited by The Press Reporter workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)