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Hong kong bans flights from Pakistan, India and Philippines

Hong Kong will ban flights from India, Pakistan and the Philippines for two weeks starting from Tuesday as the city recorded the first two cases with highly contagious virus variant in the community over the weekend.

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According to details, Hong Kong is going to ban flights from three countries which include India, Pakistan and Philippines from the 20th of April after the city reported the first two cases with highly contagious virus variant in the community over the weekend.

The Hong Kong government on Sunday said that these countries are classified as areas of “extremely high risk”, adding that visitors who have stayed in the three countries for more than two hours in the past 21 days will also be restricted from boarding any passenger flights to Hong Kong.

Once the ban comes into effect, people already in isolation after returning from these countries will also be required to take an additional COVID-19 diagnostic test on the 26th day of quarantine.

This move is said to adversely affect airline operators such as Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, Vistara, and Cebu Pacific.

The ban came into being from a circuit breaker arrangement which was triggered for each of the countries as there had been five or more arrivals with the N501Y mutant coronavirus strain within seven days, said the Hong Kong government. The strain was first detected in South Africa.

Read More: Amid third wave, Pakistan bans flights from 22 countries till 20th April

On Sunday, Hong Kong reported 30 new cases of Coronavirus, 29 of which were imported. Till now, the city has has recorded over 11,684 cases and 209 deaths from Coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Pakistan was added to England’s coronavirus red list, along with along with Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

In a statement released by the UK government, the restrictions will help reduce the risk of new variants – such as those first identified in South Africa (SA) and Brazil – from entering England.

Under this policy, international visitors who have departed from or transited through Pakistan, Kenya, Bangladesh and the Philippines in the previous 10 days will be barred from entering England. The move took effect from 4am on Friday, 9 April.

The addition of these 4 countries means there are now a total of 39 countries on the ‘red list’.

Only British and Irish citizens, or those who hold the permanent residency in UK are now allowed to enter England after a ten-day mandatory quarantine provided by the government.

The statement further said that the passengers would be directed to arrive at a designated port. No direct flight bans from these countries will be put in place, but passengers are advised to check their travel plans before departing for England.

United Kingdom’s government website states that passengers will be required to take a coronavirus test on or before Day 2 and on or after Day 8, and they will not be allowed to shorten their quarantine period on receipt of a negative test result.

They will also not be able to end their managed quarantine early through the Test to Release scheme.

The UK government had made it consistently clear it will take decisive action if necessary, to contain the virus and that is why it has added these countries to the red list.

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