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Hong Kong adds Britain to govt camp virus quarantine tier

Travellers to Hong Kong from Britain will have to initially quarantine in a government camp from joining 12 African nations and the USA.

Hong Kong adds Britain to govt camp virus quarantine tier
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong has maintained some of the world's toughest quarantine restrictions - Copyright AFP/File Anthony WALLACE
Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong has maintained some of the world's toughest quarantine restrictions - Copyright AFP/File Anthony WALLACE

Travellers to Hong Kong from Britain will have to initially quarantine in a government camp from Tuesday, joining 12 African nations and the United States on the city’s strictest entry tier.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Hong Kong has maintained some of the world’s toughest quarantine restrictions, measures that have kept infections at bay but left the finance hub isolated.

Those policies have been tightened further since the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which has spread rapidly around the world in the last few weeks.

Most people arriving in Hong Kong must undergo 21 days of hotel quarantine and frequent testing before being allowed out.

But people from countries deemed to have high Omicron infection rates must spend the first four days of quarantine in a government-run camp before seeing out the rest of their isolation in a hotel.

Britain was added to that list from midnight on Tuesday.

The other countries on the highest tier are Angola, Botswana, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Hong Kong has also further tightened aviation rules.

Any airline that brings in four or more passengers with the coronavirus over a seven day period on a route will be hit with a 14-day ban.

The rules create fresh headaches for airlines ahead of the once-peak Christmas travel period.

Some airlines such as British Airways and Swiss Air have begun avoiding Hong Kong altogether for fear of their crew getting trapped in quarantine.

Earlier this month, AFP reported that Cathay Pacific has been hit by a wave of pilot resignations, with employees citing exhaustion and growing resentment.

Over the weekend, the boss of Qatar Airways, one of Cathay’s main shareholders, warned Hong Kong was “killing” its aviation industry with its rules.

Hong Kong has tied its fortunes to China’s zero-Covid strategy and made clear that resuming travel with the mainland must come before the rest of the world.

Thanks to the strict rules, the city has not recorded a local outbreak in months.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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