Hong Kong Bans All Flights From The U.S.

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With the rise within the Omicron variant, Hong Kong introduced final week that there will probably be a two week lengthy ban on all flights departing from the USA, in addition to from SEVEN different international locations world wide. This ban was set to start this previous Sunday January 9th and is predicted to proceed at the very least till January 21st.

Cathay Pacific, the flag service for Hong Kong, sometimes runs seven direct routes from the U.S. all year long  – from cities similar to San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Newark, Los Angeles, New York, and Boston. These routes are sometimes frequented by pleasure seekers, in addition to being widespread for enterprise vacationers because of the metropolis’s repute for financial and monetary dealings. With the current suspension of those flights, many passengers who have been hoping to transit and even locals returning residence to this cosmopolitan metropolis, could discover themselves caught – at the very least for the approaching weeks.  

This two week ban on passenger flights is not only completely for the USA, it additionally contains Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the UK. In asserting these new measures, Hong Kong Chief Govt Carrie Lam described the brand new restrictions as “decisive and complete” — greater than every other restrictions the town as seen over the previous two years. Lam famous that the choice to cancel these flights was in response to the “drastic” enhance in imported coronavirus instances. Presently, the routes from these eight international locations are a few of the most closely trafficked flights going out and in of the town of Hong Kong.

These measures come as new Omicron clusters have emerged over the previous week throughout the metropolis. This outbreak is linked to a number of Cathay Pacific crew members who broke isolation guidelines — eating in eating places and bars, earlier than testing constructive.

As of now, there are solely a handful of group infections inside Hong Kong attributable to group unfold, however the extreme new restrictions are additionally a direct results of the low vaccination charges, notably among the many aged — who’re solely 20% vaccinated.

Ban on Transit Passengers

Hong Kong additionally introduced yesterday that they’ll ban air passengers from ALL Group A international locations —  (these designated as “high-risk”) from TRANSITING by Hong Kong Worldwide Airport. An identical passenger transit ban occurred in March 2020 early within the pandemic, however steadily resumed within the subsequent months (other than mainland China). 

This transit suspension will start on January 15th and run at the very least till February 14th, though the dates are topic to overview. There are 150 totally different international locations which are at the moment being categorized as “high-risk”, leaving  many passengers scrambling to rebook their flights and alter their plans.

passengers wear masks at bangkok airport

Such widespread vacationer locations as Vietnam, Cambodia or Thailand that are at the moment open to vacationers, might even see a drop in vacationers attributable to these new transit restrictions.  This comes simply as Thailand introduced extra additions to their Sandbox program this previous week, to locations Krabi, Phang Nga, and Koh Samui. Hong Kong Worldwide Airport serves 5 cities in Thailand, with dozens of flights a day to locations similar to Phuket, Bangkok, and Ko Sumai. Now, if a traveler is coming from certainly one of these 150 “high-risk” international locations, Hong Kong will not be an possibility.

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One other Choice For Vacationers

Not all is misplaced for Asian journey. Singapore Changi Airport could also be the best choice for journey all through the area. Singapore is at the moment the 18th busiest airport on the planet, flying to numerous and unique locations. As of now, Singapore is permitting any passenger to transit by the favored airport, so long as they check unfavourable 48 hours earlier than their flight. 

View of the merlion statue of Merlion Park, and the financial district in downtown Singapore. The merlion is a symbol and mascot of Singapore.

Learn Extra:

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