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Hong Kong bans passenger flights from UK on delta variant

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Hong Kong will ban all passenger flights from Britain from Thursday, calling the country “extremely high risk” just as it eases entry requirements for people traveling from most other parts of the world .

“Starting at 12:00 am on July 1 (Hong Kong time), all passenger flights from the UK will be banned from landing,” the government said in a statement on Monday.

The decision was made “in view of the recent rebound in the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread variant delta virus strain there, coupled with a number of cases with mutant L452R virus strains detected by testing. carried out on people arriving from the UK, ”he mentioned.

Only a handful of other countries are in Hong Kong’s highest risk category: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines and South Africa.

The UK was in Hong Kong’s extremely high risk category from December through May, but then moved to very high risk as its outbreak subsided.

As cases are on the rise again in the UK, the move comes amid political tensions between China and the UK over Beijing’s crackdown on dissent and media freedom in the United Kingdom. former British colony. The British government has repeatedly stated that China had violated the Sino-British joint declaration that paved the way for the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

Hong Kong has put in place some of the toughest border barriers in the world to keep its infection count low. Those will be relaxed for all but the most-at-risk locations this week, when the mandatory hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated people arriving in the city is reduced to seven days from 21.

The strict quarantine regime has been a source of public anger. Qualifying travelers must book their own hotel rooms, which can be expensive for longer stays, and they are booked quickly during the summer period.

Despite wide availability of Covid vaccines, only 19% of Hong Kong’s population has been fully vaccinated, Bloomberg’s vaccine tracker shows.

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