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Covid-19: Hong Kong prohibits passengers from more than 150 countries from transiting through its airport

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Hong Kong is expanding its strategy of international isolation. Air passengers from 153 countries will no longer be able to transit through the Chinese special administrative region, in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the city’s airport announced on Friday January 14.

This suspension, which concerns all countries classified as “high risk” for health by the Hong Kong authorities, will take effect on Sunday for a period of one month. It aims to “control the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of Covid-19”, said the airport on its website.

Hong Kong has already prohibited access to its territory, since January 8, to any passenger who has stayed more than two hours in the last twenty-one days in eight countries (Australia, Canada, United States, France, India, Pakistan, Philippines, UK).

“Zero Covid” strategy

Transit through Hong Kong airport will now be impossible for people from all other countries deemed to be at “high risk”. If correspondence is therefore prohibited for these travelers, entering Hong Kong, on the other hand, will remain possible for them provided that they are vaccinated and subject to twenty-one days of quarantine.

Along with mainland China, Hong Kong is one of the last places in the world to cling to the “zero Covid” strategy, consisting in avoiding the spread of the coronavirus on its territory at all costs and in a draconian policy of isolation of patients and their contacts.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers To achieve “zero Covid”, Hong Kong imposes a difficult quarantine on residents returning to the island

This strategy has allowed the city of 7.5 million people to register just over 12,000 cases and only 213 deaths since the start of the pandemic, but at the cost of costly international isolation for this major global financial center.

The authorities have been on a war footing since the appearance of a small outbreak of local contamination due to the Omicron variant in a restaurant, which triggered massive testing campaigns, frantic tracing of contact cases, the closure of bars, facilities sports, schools, cinemas and museums and a curfew for restaurants from 6 p.m.

The World with AFP