Hong Kong expands travel curbs on Omicron fears, Australia reports 5 cases | Inquirer News
Close  

Hong Kong expands travel curbs on Omicron fears, Australia reports 5 cases

/ 12:28 PM November 30, 2021
Hong Kong omicron

People wearing face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), ride in a bus in Hong Kong, China November 29, 2021. REUTERS

HONG KONG/SYDNEY — Hong Kong expanded a ban on entry for non-residents from several countries as global health authorities raced to curb a potential outbreak of the Omicron virus, while Australia’s cabinet will review on Tuesday containment steps after five tested positive.

Singapore’s health ministry said two travellers from Johannesburg who tested positive for the variant in Sydney had transited through its Changi.

ADVERTISEMENT

Omicron – first reported in southern Africa and which the World Health Organization (WHO) said carries a “very high” risk of infection surges – has triggered global alarm, with border closures casting a shadow over a nascent economic recovery from a two-year pandemic.

Hong Kong is among the latest to expand travel curbs. In a late Monday statement, city authorities said non-residents from Angola, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Zambia would not be allowed to enter as of Nov. 30.

FEATURED STORIES

“The most stringent quarantine requirements will also be implemented on relevant inbound travellers from these places,” the statement said.

Additionally, non-residents who have been to Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Israel and Italy in the past 21 days, would not be allowed to enter the city from Dec. 2, it added.

The global financial hub, among the last places in the world pursuing a zero-COVID strategy, earlier banned non-residents arriving from South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

In Australia, the five travellers with Omicron are all vaccinated and in quarantine, health officials said, adding they are asymptomatic or display very mild symptoms.

Canberra delayed on Monday the reopening of the nation’s borders for international students and skilled migrants, less than 36 hours before they were due to be allowed back in.

“We’re doing this out of an abundance of caution but our overwhelming view is that whilst (Omicron) is an emerging variant, it is a manageable variant,” Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt told a media conference in Canberra.

Growing hopes that Omicron will be milder than feared have helped restore some calm to markets this week, after a rout on Friday that saw roughly $2 trillion being wiped off the value of global stocks.

ADVERTISEMENT

Traders also took comfort from remarks by President Joe Biden that the United States would not reinstate lockdowns.

“This variant is a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

“We’re going to fight and beat this new variant.”

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link .

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Australia, COVID-19, Hong Kong, Omicron variant, travel ban
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.