Hong Kong bans transit flights from over 150 countries

Hong Kong International Airport says it will ban passengers from over 150 countries and territories from transiting in the city for a month, as it seeks to stem the transmission of the highly contagious omicron variant

Passengers who have stayed in over 150 places deemed “high risk” in the last 21 days, including the United States and Britain, will be banned from transiting in Hong Kong from Jan. 16 to Feb. 15, according to a notice posted by the airport.

The ban comes as the city grapples with an omicron outbreak, with most of the cases traced to two crew members of Cathay Pacific who had broken isolation rules and dined at restaurants and bars in the city before testing positive.

Last week, Hong Kong imposed a two-week ban on incoming flights from the U.S., Canada, Australia, France, Britain, India, Pakistan and the Philippines.

The city has also banned dining in after 6 p.m. and ordered venues such as museums, cinemas, gyms and libraries to close.

Hong Kong has aligned itself with China’s “zero-tolerance” COVID-19 policy, with authorities intent on stamping out all outbreaks with sometimes draconian measures.