Singapore, South Korea, and Chile are among the latest additions to the city’s list of high-risk places.
Hong Kong’s health authorities are continuously tightening entry rules into the territory as the Omicron variant pops up in more places worldwide. Doubling down on its zero-Covid policy, the government previously announced that any country where Omicron was detected would be immediately moved into its group of high-risk locations, effectively barring all non-resident arrivals with a travel history to those places in the previous 21 days. Returning Hong Kong residents can only board flights back to the city if they have been fully vaccinated and hold a recognized vaccination record. Even so, they must face 21 days of mandatory self-isolation in a designated quarantine hotel, with six PCR tests conducted during that period and one final check at a community testing center on the 26th day of their arrival.
The past few days have seen a dozen more countries, including Finland, Norway, and South Korea, added to Hong Kong’s list of high-risk places. Iceland and Singapore were both reclassified from midnight on December 6, meaning that anyone eligible to fly in from the Lion City must spend an extra week in quarantine. Mexico is due to be added from midnight on Tuesday, while the travel ban on non-residents will apply to arrivals from Chile, the Cook Islands, Luxembourg, and Romania from Wednesday.
Airlines serving Hong Kong are feeling the pressure from the government’s tough measures. Cathay Pacific has been forced to reduce its flight frequencies in December due to a crew shortage caused by a “closed loop” system designed to work around new rules. Other global carriers such as Air France, British Airways, and Swiss have suspended flights to Hong Kong over strict quarantine requirements for aircrews. BA did so in late November amid reports that more of its crew members were forced to self-isolate in a government quarantine center after one tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival.
Here is the full list of countries facing a ban on non-resident arrivals into Hong Kong, as of December 6:
|United Arab Emirates|
|North and South America||Brazil|