A slew of flight cancellations around the world is affecting international air travel during peak holiday season, with more than 8,000 flights grounded over the long Christmas weekend. Hong Kong’s strict anti-epidemic measures have resulted in flight bans on certain routes, the latest being two-week suspensions on Cathay Pacific’s flights from Toronto to Hong Kong, and Los Angeles to the SAR.
Over the past week, Cathay Pacific, Korea Air and Emirates flights from London, Seoul, Bangkok and Dubai were also suspended for 14 days after passengers tested positive for Covid-19 upon arrival in Hong Kong. Since mid-December, Nepal Airlines, Air India and Qatar Airways have been served similar bans, as have Cathay Pacific flights from Ho Chi Minh and New York City.
Additionally, Hong Kong cargo crew who do layovers abroad must now undergo a three-day hotel quarantine period before isolating at home. Previously, cargo crew could quarantine at home for the first three days after their arrival into the city. They could only leave for two hours for activities such as buying food and other necessities, solo exercise, seeking medical attention, and getting tested for the virus.
The government also listed 51 places in its latest compulsory testing notice that were visited by preliminary positive or confirmed imported cases during the incubation period of the virus. The notice covers several premises across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Lantau and mandates people who have visited them at various times between December 6 and December 28 to undergo a Covid-19 nucleic acid test.
Header image credits: The HK HUB