HK announces 2-week quarantine for travellers from mainland China, Latest World News - The New Paper

HK announces 2-week quarantine for travellers from mainland China

This article is more than 12 months old

HONG KONG: Hong Kong announced yesterday a mandatory two-week quarantine for all travellers from mainland China, in a bid to stop more cases of the deadly new coronavirus that was first reported in Wuhan in China.

The quarantine order, which will come into force on Saturday, will apply to Hong Kong residents and foreigners, city leader Carrie Lam said.

She did not make clear how the quarantine would be implemented, such as where and how arrivals would be isolated, but said it was designed to stop them coming.

"The measure is harsh. But I believe after we say all arrivals have to be quarantined for 14 days from Feb 8, the number of arrivals will reduce," Mrs Lam said.

"Who would want to enter Hong Kong from the mainland and be quarantined for as long as 14 days?

"In view of this, we shouldn't have to deal with a large amount of arrivals who need to go through compulsory quarantine."

Hong Kong has 21 confirmed cases of the virus, one of whom died on Tuesday.

Over the last two weeks, Mrs Lam has faced growing calls to close the border with China.

Her administration cut the number of land border crossings to just two, which reduced the flow significantly but failed to placate critics.

Mrs Lam had said closing the border would be impractical, economically damaging and discriminatory.


Immigration figures on Tuesday showed about 10,000 mainlanders used the border crossings and the international airport to enter Hong Kong.

Another 33,000 Hong Kong residents were also using the two remaining land border crossings.

Hong Kong's medical workers began a third day of strike action yesterday, piling pressure on the city's government to seal the border with mainland China as the number of locally transmitted cases of coronavirus increased.

"As the disease is spreading rapidly in our community, and locally infected cases are steadily increasing, we are dangerously close to a massive community outbreak comparable to Sars (severe acute respiratory syndrome)," a newly formed union called the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance said in a statement. - REUTERS