Caixin
Jun 03, 2020 06:35 PM
SOCIETY & CULTURE

Hong Kong Extends Quarantine Restrictions for Incoming Travelers

Passengers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport on March 18.
Passengers arrive at Hong Kong International Airport on March 18.

Hong Kong on Tuesday extended quarantine restrictions for inbound travelers as it grapples with a new cluster of coronavirus infections.

Mandatory 14-day isolation periods will apply to travelers entering the semiautonomous territory from the Chinese mainland, Macao, and Taiwan until July 7, two weeks later than originally stipulated, the Hong Kong Food and Health Bureau announced. Similar quarantine restrictions will remain in place until Sept. 18 for those flying in from abroad.

The move comes as the Asian financial hub continues to detect low numbers of new coronavirus cases. On Tuesday, Hong Kong confirmed six new cases, four of which were local infections linked to a housing estate in the satellite town of Sha Tin, Chuang Shuk-kwan, head of the city’s Centre for Health Protection, said at a Tuesday press conference. No new cases were reported Wednesday, according to the city’s public broadcaster RTHK.

During a Caixin webinar Tuesday, Zhang Wenhong, a top epidemiologist at Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital, said Hong Kong’s inbound travel restrictions had helped to keep the spread of Covid-19 in the city “at a very low level” while maintaining its economic activity and avoiding school closures.

China’s central government is in talks with Hong Kong and other countries in the region about the possibility of reopening borders, according to Zhang. “Once East Asia reopens, from Singapore to South Korea, I think China will also reopen entirely,” he said.

Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (matthewwalsh@caixin.com) and editor Lu Zhenhua (zhenhualu@caixin.com)

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