Hong Kong airport announced on Friday 14 January the suspension of transit flights from more than 150 countries in order to curb the spread of Covid-19. Passengers coming from these 150 countries, considered “high risk” for health by the Hong Kong authorities, will therefore no longer be able to stop over through Hong Kong. The measure will take effect on Sunday 16 January, for a period of one month.
Hong Kong has already prohibited access to its territory, since 8 January, to any passenger who has stayed more than two hours in the last twenty-one days in eight countries (Australia, Canada, United States, France, India, Pakistan, Philippines, United Kingdom). Transit through Hong Kong airport will now be impossible for people from all other countries deemed to be “high risk”. Entering Hong Kong will remain possible for them provided they are vaccinated and subject to twenty-one days of quarantine.
Along with mainland China, Hong Kong is one of the last places in the world to cling to the “zero Covid” strategy, consisting in avoiding the spread of the coronavirus on its territory at all costs and in a draconian policy of isolation of patients and their contacts. This strategy has allowed the city of 7.5 million people to register just over 12,000 cases and only 213 deaths since the start of the pandemic, but at the cost of harsh international isolation for this major global financial centre.