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21 juill. 2020 | 10h18 UTC

Hong Kong: Authorities to introduce new entry restrictions on July 25 /update 34

Hong Kong, SAR China Alerte de sécurité

Authorities to introduce new entry restrictions on July 25 amid ongoing COVID-19 pandemic; follow government directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 21/7/2020, 12h00 until 21/8/2020, 11h59 (Asia/Hong_Kong). COUNTRY/REGION Hong Kong

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Event

Authorities have announced that as of Saturday, July 25, new entry restrictions will be introduced for incoming travelers as part of measures to screen against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Inbound passengers with travel history to Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa in the past 14 days will need to present a negative COVID-19 test result taken 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers will also need to present proof of a hotel booking for 14 days to undergo their quarantine. Transit passengers are exempt from these measures. These measures come after Hong Kong registered 234 imported cases of COVID-19 between June 20 and July 17.  

Separately, the Hong Kong government announced on Sunday, July 19, that further restrictions would be introduced in the city following an increase in COVID-19 cases. The decision came as the city reported more than 100 cases in 24 hours. Nonessential civil servants have been ordered to work from home for a week, and the closure of amusement parks, gyms, and other venues where social distancing is challenging has been extended by a further seven days. Face masks remain mandatory in indoor public areas, and restaurants may only provide takeaway services after 18:00 (local time). A ban on gatherings of more than four people in Hong Kong is in place.

A mandatory 14-day quarantine period remains in place for travelers arriving from mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan, while quarantine requirements for those arriving from all other destinations will remain in place until at least September 18.

As of Tuesday, July 21, there have been 1655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and ten associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized. 

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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