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Hong Kong bans passenger flights from Indonesia over COVID-19 fears

Hong Kong bans passenger flights from Indonesia over COVID-19 fears

FILE PHOTO: Closed counters are seen at the departures hall of Hong Kong International Airport, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Hong Kong, China February 2, 2021. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government said on Wednesday (Jun 23) it will ban passenger flights from Indonesia from Friday, deeming the country's arrivals "extremely high risk" for COVID-19. 

Authorities said flights would be suspended after the number of imported COVID-19 cases from Indonesia crossed thresholds set by the global financial hub.

READ: Daily new COVID-19 caseload in Indonesia hits record high; total infections surpass 2 million

Hong Kong has already banned travellers from India, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines using a flight suspension rule triggered when there are five or more passengers who test positive on arrival for variants of COVID-19.

The rule is also triggered when 10 or more passengers are found to have any strain of the coronavirus while in quarantine. 

READ: Jokowi aims to vaccinate 7.5 million Jakartans by end August, but experts say herd immunity is not a given

READ: COVID-19: Hurdles ahead for Indonesia as it aims to vaccinate 180 million people in 15 months

The Chinese special administrative region has recorded over 11,800 cases and 210 deaths due to the coronavirus. Most of the city's recent cases over the past month have been imported.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Hong Kong's ban was "temporary" and that migrant workers affected by the new regulation should contact their employers and agents.

Hong Kong employs thousands of migrant workers from countries including Indonesia and the Philippines.

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Source: Reuters/vc

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