In this April 4, 2020 photo, a passenger wearing a face mask and protective suit, amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus, talks on his phone in the arrivals hall at Hong Kong International Airport. (DALE DE LA REY / AFP)
HONG KONG - The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government announced Tuesday that if there is no significant change in the pandemic situation in the city and in "relevant overseas places", the air travel restrictions on persons who have stayed in Ireland and Britain will be lifted starting May 7.
Meanwhile, the HKSAR govt continues to prohibit all passenger flights from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines from landing in HK
Inbound flights from the two countries can resume and Hong Kong residents in these places will be allowed to return to the HKSAR, subject to the strictest mandatory quarantine and testing arrangements upon arrival, according to the government.
Meanwhile, the HKSAR government continued to prohibit all passenger flights from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines from landing in Hong Kong. It also forbid persons who have stayed in India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Brazil or South Africa from boarding flights to the city.
Air Travel Bubble
Also on Tuesday, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said the planned air travel bubble with Singapore had “additional built-in safeguards” and that the government would continue to monitor the pandemic situation.
“At the moment, I think Hong Kong is enjoying a relatively stable and low-risk situation. We have seen the number of cases, particularly those unlinked local cases, come down to a very low level. We hope this will be maintained,” Yau said in an interview with reporters.
“At the same time, we are also seeing Singapore, despite some cases, by and large staying within the range that we have agreed upon for the suspension or resumption. So, at the moment, we are keeping an eye on this development and see how things would go,” he added.
Yau said the additional safeguards included an additional three-day observation period on “the daily number of unlinked local cases at a lower level”, and the requirement to stay in the respective cities for 14 days before embarking on the travel bubble "without counting the quarantine requirement for those passengers coming from a third place."
“Of course we will stay very alert. If circumstances go worse, we will see whether there is a need to adjust; if things are going smoothly, stably and safely, I think it is everybody's wish to have the scheme proceed as planned to be launched on May 26,” Yau said.
With Xinhua inputs
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