Covid news live: Hong Kong to ban arrivals of non-residents of Australia, Canada and parts of Europe; WHO warns Omicron poses “very high” risk

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Hong Kong has banned non-residents from entering the city from four African countries and plans to extend this to travelers who have been to Australia, Canada, Israel and six European countries in the past 21 days in because of concerns about Omicron.
The Secretary for Food and Health, Prof Sophia Chan, made the announcement during a press briefing.

She said:

Hong Kong’s very strict boarding, quarantine and testing system successfully prevented transmission of the three Omicron cases, which we identified at our designated quarantine hotel, from entering the community.

To prevent the Omicron variant from entering the community, the health chief said, Hong Kong should implement the strictest measures.

In addition to the eight Southern African sites announced earlier, the government would also include any other locations overseas that have detected cases of Omicron in the list of specified Group A or high risk locations.

The Hong Kong government said in a statement on Monday evening that non-residents of Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia would not be allowed to enter the global financial center from November 30.

Residents could return if vaccinated, but would have to be quarantined for seven days in a government facility and an additional two weeks in a hotel at their own expense.

The press release said:

Non-Hong Kong residents of these four locations will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong.
The most stringent quarantine requirements will also be implemented for relevant inbound travelers from these locations.

In addition, non-residents who went to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel and Italy during the last 21 days would not be allowed to enter the city from December 2.

Vaccinated residents returning from these countries should do three weeks of quarantine at the hotel.

Hong Kong last week banned non-Hong Kong residents from arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

A health worker directs travelers through the arrivals hall at Hong Kong airport last month. Photography: Jérôme Favre / EPA


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