According to the Associated Press, Hong Kong will ban any passengers who stay in the UK for more than two hours from flying to Hong Kong on Thursday to help prevent the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus.
On Monday, Hong Kong officials declared the United Kingdom “very high risk” because of “the recent rebound of the epidemic in the United Kingdom and the widespread presence of delta mutant virus strains there.” This is the second time the Hong Kong government has banned flights from the United Kingdom after the restrictions imposed in December last year.
At the same time, Hong Kong also plans to relax restrictions from other countries such as the United States and Canada.
For more reports from the Associated Press, please see below.
At the time of the ban, there was growing tension between Britain and China over the issue of semi-autonomous Hong Kong, which was a British colony until it was handed over to China in 1997.
Britain criticized China for enforcing Hong Kong’s national security laws and strengthening its media control, saying that Beijing is undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The flight ban was triggered by a government policy to prevent the spread of variants of the coronavirus in Hong Kong.
If five or more passengers arriving from one place test positive for a specific coronavirus variant or related virus mutation on arrival within 7 days, passenger flights will be suspended.
The ban will also be triggered if any tests (including those conducted during isolation) confirm that 10 or more passengers from one place are infected with the coronavirus within 7 days.
The UK reported that 14,876 people tested positive for the coronavirus on Sunday due to the recent surge in infections. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has confirmed more than 4 million cases.
For several months, Hong Kong has implemented a 21-day quarantine for immigrants from most countries and implemented strict social distancing regulations. On Monday, three new coronavirus cases were reported. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it has confirmed a total of 11,921 cases.