Hong Kong will suspend flights from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines for two weeks starting April 20 after the N501Y mutant COVID-19 strain was discovered for the first time in the Asian financial hub, authorities said late Sunday.
After multiple imported cases carrying the strain into Hong Kong in the last 14 days, the three countries will be listed as "highly high risk," according to the government.
On Sunday, the city confirmed 30 new coronavirus cases, 29 of which were imported, bringing the daily total to 30 for the first time since March 15. In total, there have been over 11,600 cases in Hong Kong, with 209 deaths.
Authorities in Hong Kong have been encouraging people to get coronavirus vaccines, but only about 9% of Hong Kong's 7.5 million residents have been vaccinated so far.
The city's vaccine program was expanded last week to include those aged 16 to 29 years old for the first time, in an effort to increase the low demand for vaccinations among residents. find out more
Cathay Pacific (0293.HK), Hong Kong Airlines, Vistara, and Cebu Pacific are among the airlines affected by Hong Kong's ban on travelers from India, Pakistan, and the Philippines (CEB.PS).