Hong Kong bans flights from 153 countries including India, until after Lunar New Year

Adhering to its ‘zero-COVID policy’, Hong Kong has deepened its global isolation by banning transit flights from over 150 countries, including India.

In a recent update, Hong Kong has announced a ban of transit flights from a total of 153 countries to stay in order with China’s strict anti-virus travel measures ahead of the Winter Olympics this year.

Hong kong
International flights from most of the world will have to wait their turn for flying over the Hong Kong city. Image: Shutterstock/pisaphotography.

The move deepens the city’s global isolation due to flurry of Delta and Omicron outbreaks in the country, despite of a dedicated “zero-COVID” policy. Hong Kong has continued to follow some of the world’s strictest safety measures and had had no local transmissions for over three months, prior to the recent outbreak in December last year.

As per the announcement by the Hong Kong International Airport, anyone who has stayed in countries listed as ‘high-risk’ by health authorities in the last 21 days before arrival, will not be allowed to transit through the city until February 15. It has classified over 150 countries and territories as high-risk, including India, Australia, Canada, France, Pakistan, and the United States.

The authorities have also tightened quarantine restrictions on air crew and reintroduced curbs on social life. A variety of public spaces, including bars, clubs, cinemas, gyms, and salons have been ordered to remain closed, while dining out in restaurants is only allowed till 6pm.

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