Covid19 : Hong Kong to stop all passenger flights from UK
Hong Kong says it will ban all passenger flights from the UK starting Thursday as it seeks to curb the spread of new variants of the coronavirus. It said in a statement that the UK has been classified as “extremely high risk“ because of the “recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread delta variant virus strain there”. Under the classification, people who have stayed in the UK for more than two hours will be restricted from boarding passenger flights to Hong Kong.
More than 95 per cent of COVID-19 cases in the UK are of the delta variant, which was first identified in India. Cases have spiked in recent weeks as British authorities have relaxed coronavirus restrictions, allowing indoor gatherings and businesses including restaurants, cinemas and gyms to reopen.
Scientists say the delta variant is much more transmissible than previous versions of the coronavirus, although it is uncertain if it is more deadly. Under the classification, people who have stayed in the UK for more than two hours will be restricted from boarding passenger flights to Hong Kong.
Dr Julian Tang, a virologist at the University of Leicester who previously worked in Hong Kong, said the ban makes sense from a scientific point of view. The UK flight ban comes as Hong Kong is looking to relax quarantine measures for most other countries, including the US and Canada. Several other countries, including the Philippines and Indonesia, also face flight bans to Hong Kong.