Hong Kong government suspends inbound flights from eight countries

The Hong Kong government has banned flights from eight countries – Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, Philippines, United Kingdom and United States – for two weeks under new anti-COVID measures.

In effect since January 8, the move is part of an effort to curb the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as authorities fear a new wave of coronavirus infections in the city.

Hong Kong Managing Director Carrie Lam also announced that many venues will be closed – including swimming pools, sports centers, bars and clubs, and museums and other venues – for at least two weeks, commenting “We don’t ‘don’t see a fifth wave yet, but we’re on our way.

Lam expressed concern over the possibility of a “silent spread” of the virus in the community.

The flight bans represent a significant increase in the number of travel restrictions that have already left the city largely cut off from the rest of the world while keeping it relatively virus-free for more than seven months.

The ban also hit Hong Kong-based business leaders who returned home for Christmas and are now stranded outside the Asian financial hub.

the Australian Financial Review reported today that international business groups based in the city of Hong Kong are begging the Hong Kong government to restart flights, fearing the ban will deter companies from using Hong Kong as a regional headquarters.

Nigel Benton with Joe Cusmano from wandering nomad.

Image credit: Shutterstock.

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