Hong Kong Adds Indonesia to “No Flights” List

An entry ban on all travelers from the Southeast Asian country will begin at midnight on Friday.

Hong Kong International Airport at dawn. (Photo: LeeYiuTung/iStock)

Recent weeks have seen Indonesia become a primary source of imported coronavirus cases in Hong Kong, with both Cathay Pacific and Garuda Indonesia subject to temporary bans on incoming flights from Jakarta for bringing in too many infected passengers. But that may be about to change as Hong Kong tightens restrictions on travel from the Southeast Asian country. According to a government statement issued last night, all passenger flights from Indonesia will be prohibited from landing starting at midnight on June 25.

Current health regulations in Hong Kong stipulate that a country-specific flight suspension will be imposed when a total of five or more travelers from the same place, regardless of the airline, test positive for a mutated Covid-19 strain on arrival within a seven-day period. The statement said that the number of imported cases from Indonesia with more infectious virus variants had now reached the threshold to trigger those restrictions.

From Friday, Indonesia will also be reclassified by Hong Kong health authorities as an “extremely high-risk” country for Covid-19 transmission, joining Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa. Any traveler who has spent more than two hours in Indonesia in the previous 21 days will be denied entry to Hong Kong; returning residents and citizens are not exempt from the ban.

The move was announced shortly after Hong Kong’s Centre of Health Protection reported a preliminary positive case in the community involving the Delta variant, breaking the territory’s 16-day streak of no local cases. This patient is an unvaccinated 27-year-old airport worker who previously had contact with incoming cargo flight crews, reportedly from a Southeast Asian airline. Due to the local epidemic situation in India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Philippines, the Hong Kong government says the entry ban and flight suspension for these four countries will remain in place.

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