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Monday, March 23, 2020, 16:03
Hong Kong bans all non-resident arrivals for 14 days
By Shadow Li and Li Bingcun
Monday, March 23, 2020, 16:03 By Shadow Li and Li Bingcun

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor speaks at a press conference in Hong Kong on March 23, 2020. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

HONG KONG - Hong Kong will ban non-residents from visiting for 14 days as the city sees a second wave of imported cases of COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus. The Special Administrative Region (SAR) will ban all non-residents from entering for 14-days at the airport, effective from midnight on Wednesday, Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced Monday at a press conference. 

Lam said those from the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan would be denied entry as well if found to have traveled overseas in the past 14 days

Lam said those from the Chinese mainland, Macao and Taiwan would be denied entry as well if found to have traveled overseas in the past 14 days. The city will stop accepting transit travellers at the airport and would require those arriving from Macao and Taiwan to undergo a 14-day mandatory quarantine. 

ALSO READ: 41 people found flouting compulsory quarantine orders

At the same time, the CE announced a ban on sale of alcoholic drinks at restaurants and bars holding liquor license to cut local transmission after at least six cases of COVID-19 infection were linked to the city’s nightlife hub Lan Kwai Fong. 

Lam said the Department of Justice was researching how the Prevention and Control of Disease Ordinance could be invoked to ban the sale of alcoholic drinks. The CE said the government will require all private clubs operating on private recreational land to stop offering recreational facilities. She also called on other private clubs housed in private estates and private gyms to take precaution measures accordingly.

Lam reminded the public of the unstinting efforts of the city's health care workers over the past months to keep infections from exploding.In a trembling voice, Lam urged the public to do their part to safeguard the hard-won gains by abiding by home quarantine orders and by practising social distancing. “How is it fair to the medical staff, who have been strenuously fighting the coronavirus for more than two months, if communal outbreaks have resurged owing to a few, who breached home quarantine orders to play ball games or have cart noodles?” she said.

Also, Lam said the government will discuss with the food and beverage industry about appropriate measures to protect patrons. If such measures don’t prove to be effective enough, the government will, through legislation, limit the operating hours of restaurants or the number of covers. 

ALSO READ: Public urged to self-regulate to curb COVID-19

This apart, all arrivals from the US, Europe and the UK will be compulsorily given a virus test. Each will be handed a container for depositing deep throat saliva. Currently, only people showing symptoms are given the test upon arrival. All 143 samples collected so far have tested negative.  

Currently, Hong Kong’s tally of people infected with COVID-19 stands at 318. 

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