Hong Kong classifies UK as ‘extremely high-risk,’ bans all passenger flights

Jun 28, 2021

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Hong Kong is once again banning all travellers coming from the U.K. amidst concern over the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

According to the South China Morning Post, as of 1 July, Hong Kong is putting the U.K. back on its list of “extremely high-risk” countries, which will render travel from Britain to Hong Kong impossible once again.

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Anyone who has stayed in the U.K. for more than two hours during the past 21 days will not be allowed to enter Hong Kong.

Additionally, as of the same 1 July date, Hong Kong will ban all passenger flights from the U.K. from arriving.

Related: Hong Kong mulling shorter quarantine period for fully vaccinated travellers

In a statement published by the Hong Kong government, the move is, “in view of the recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread Delta variant virus strain there, coupled with a number of cases with L452R mutant virus strains detected by tests from people arriving from the UK at the ‘test-and-hold’ arrangements upon arrival or during quarantine in Hong Kong.”

In December 2020, the U.K. was designated as a “high-risk place” by Hong Kong, before that label was relaxed in April and May following the U.K.’s lockdown and successful vaccination rollout.

However, in recent days and weeks, the increase in cases of the Delta variant of the virus has led countries around the world to reconsider welcoming U.K. visitors — Hong Kong is the latest to do so.

Earlier today, Portgual announced that all unvaccinated Brits would need to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Additionally, Malta has placed a ban on unvaccinated Brits. Meanwhile, in Spain, the Balearic Islands will now require that arriving Brits either have proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test.

“The government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of various places, the prevalence of new virus variants, vaccination progress, and changes in the volume of cross-boundary passenger traffic, and will adjust the boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from relevant places as the situation warrants,” a Hong Kong spokesperson said.

According to the U.K. government, the country reported 14,876 daily COVID cases on 27 June — the highest since the peak of lockdown earlier this year. The rate of infection per 100,000 people in the U.K. is currently 123.7 with a 58.7% increase in the number of cases in the past seven days, despite the country’s successful vaccination programme rollout to date.

Featured photo by China News Service/Getty Images.

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