Hong Kong authorities introduced a two-week ban on flights from america and 7 different nations and held 2,500 passengers on a cruise ship for COVID-19 testing Wednesday as the town tried to stem an rising Omicron outbreak.
The 2-week ban on passenger flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nice Britain and america will take impact Sunday and proceed till Jan. 21.
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Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam additionally introduced that restaurant eating will likely be forbidden after 6 p.m. for 2 weeks beginning Friday. Recreation arcades, bars and wonder salons should additionally shut throughout that interval.
“We have now to include the pandemic to make sure that there won’t be a serious outbreak locally once more,” Lam mentioned at a information convention, including that the town is “on the verge” of one other surge.
The measures got here as new Omicron clusters have emerged over the previous week, many linked to a number of Cathay Pacific crew members who broke isolation guidelines and dined at eating places and bars within the metropolis earlier than testing constructive.
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Hong Kong has reported 114 Omicron variant circumstances as of Tuesday, with most being imported. On Tuesday, it reported its first untraceable case in practically three months, which authorities mentioned was probably brought on by the Omicron variant.
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Hong Kong officers have moved swiftly to dam the unfold of the variant, locking down residential buildings the place folks have examined constructive and mass-testing 1000’s of individuals.
That features about 2,500 passengers who have been being held Wednesday on a cruise ship in Hong Kong for coronavirus assessments, after well being authorities mentioned 9 passengers have been linked to an Omicron cluster and ordered the ship to show again.
Authorities compelled the Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas ship, which departed Sunday on a “cruise to nowhere,” to return a day early on Wednesday, based on a authorities assertion.
The ship returned to Hong Kong on Wednesday morning and passengers have been held onboard for a lot of the day whereas they awaited testing.
One passenger, Claudy Wong, mentioned Royal Caribbean had tried its finest to comply with pandemic rules.
“The pandemic has gone on for therefore lengthy, really passengers like us who board the cruise are already ready for such conditions to occur,” Wong mentioned.
Royal Caribbean mentioned in a press release that the 9 friends have been instantly remoted and all examined unfavorable, and that the corporate was working intently with authorities to adjust to epidemic prevention insurance policies and rules.
It mentioned friends who have been on the affected ship would obtain a 25 per cent refund on their cruise fare. The ship’s subsequent crusing on Thursday was additionally cancelled as a result of the crew should bear testing, and people friends will obtain a full refund.
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