Hong Kong will suspend transit flights for a month from about 150 countries and territories considered high-risk due to the coronavirus, deepening isolation as a global financial hub.
About 50 cases of the fast-spreading variant of Omicron have been identified in the city since the end of last year.
Authorities said the outbreak could be traced back to two Cathay Pacific crew members, and the city had been free of local transmission for more than three months before the outbreak.
Hong Kong International Airport said in a statement on Friday that anyone who had been in a place classified as high risk by health authorities in the 21 days prior to travel would not be able to transit between January 16 and February 15.
It said the measure was taken “to control the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant”.
Hong Kong currently lists more than 150 countries and territories as high-risk countries and territories.
last week, It bans inbound flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, Philippines, UK and US, including swaps.
The Chinese-ruled city follows mainland China’s policy of zero tolerance for local COVID-19 cases, even as much of the world turns to living with the coronavirus.
In recent weeks, authorities have tightened Quarantine restrictions on crew and re-restrictions on social life.
Fifteen venues, including bars and clubs, cinemas, gyms and beauty salons, were ordered to close, and dining in restaurants was banned after 6pm. Elementary schools and kindergartens were also closed.
The government is expected to announce later on Friday that the restrictions will be extended until the Lunar New Year holiday in early February.