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Hong Kong suspends flights from eight countries, including the U.S., fearing a fifth wave.


Hong Kong introduced a sequence of rigid pandemic management actions on Wednesday, like suspending flights from the United States and 7 other nations, as it scrambled to management an incipient Omicron outbreak.

The new measures will deepen the city’s isolation from the outside globe and mark a return to the difficult constraints from the early days of the pandemic. Hong Kong has largely introduced the coronavirus beneath manage, but the arrival of Omicron threatens to established off the city’s fifth wave of the pandemic.

“Given the pretty dire situation of the pandemic, we have to grasp this vital instant,” Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief govt, reported at a information convention announcing the new policies.

A day previously, Mrs. Lam had reported that no new social-distancing steps have been expected. But the unfold of Omicron, like the an infection of a human being with no obvious connections to the city’s 1st Omicron cluster, evidently pressured a adjust.

“We have to incorporate the pandemic to make guaranteed there will not be a main outbreak in the neighborhood again,” she claimed. “We are racing with Omicron, a remarkably transmissible variant.”

The limits will make it even more difficult to enter Hong Kong, which previously has a person of the world’s longest quarantines — up to 3 months. Less than the new principles, flights will be temporarily banned from Australia, Britain, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines and United States for two months starting up on Saturday. People today who have just lately been in people countries will also be barred from traveling by other routes.

Massive public events will be canceled, and various community venues — like bars, fitness centers and karaoke parlors — will be closed. Visits to hospitals and nursing homes will also be banned for two months. Eating in eating places will be banned following 6 p.m. But the federal government made the decision not to stop in-man or woman teaching or require government officials to perform from house.

Hong Kong has had a escalating selection of imported cases of the Omicron variant, with 133 as of Tuesday.

“If this carries on, there will be great strain on our quarantine and well being care facilities,” reported Dr. Ronald Lam, Hong Kong’s director of health and fitness.

The Omicron outbreak in the town has been traced to a Cathay Pacific flight attendant who disregarded quarantine prerequisites right after returning from the United States. He dined at the Moon Palace cafe in the upscale Trend Walk buying mall on Dec. 27, infecting his father and at the very least a person other person.

Mrs. Lam said the actions ended up most likely “the most decisive, fast, specific and thorough for the previous two a long time so that we can lower the transmission chains as soon as attainable.”

The limits arrived as Hong Kong health authorities on Wednesday requested a Royal Caribbean cruise ship to return to port early as officers searched for the contacts of a Covid-19 client.

9 persons who boarded the ship, the Spectrum of the Seas, on Jan. 2 experienced come into speak to with the affected individual, who did not board the ship, the authorities explained in a statement. The folks were being instructed to quarantine as before long as they had been discovered as contacts, while they preliminarily tested damaging.

John Yoon contributed reporting.



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