Quarantine for arrivals from outside China extended to 3 weeks

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(SCREENSHOT FROM VIDEO: Hong Kong International Airport)

Hong Kong tightened measures for all inbound travelers from outside China on Christmas Day and extended the quarantine period upon arrival to 21 days from the previous 14 days.

The government made the announcement in a press release shortly after midnight of Dec. 25 in its bid to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the city.

It also announced that travelers who have stayed more than two hours in South Africa in the past 21 days will be banned from entering Hong Kong.

Another mutation of the coronavirus with a higher rate of transmission was detected in South Africa. Earlier, Hong Kong banned all flights from Britain following the discovery of a mutated coronavirus variant from there.

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Arrivals from Dec. 2 to Dec. 24 will also have to take a COVID-19 test on the 19th or 20th day after they entered the city, the government added.

The government said that while there is no evidence that the new variants of the virus causing COVID-19 may have an incubation period longer than 14 days, it needed to implement tighter measures to ensure no cases would “slip through the net.”

“Taking into account the discovery of the new virus variant with high transmissibility in South Africa, it is necessary for the Government to adopt stringent measures to restrict the boarding of persons who have stayed in South Africa for Hong Kong,” a government spokesman said.

Two arrivals from the United Kingdom were earlier found to have COVID-19 with a genetic make-up similar to that of the highly-transmissible coronavirus variant.

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