HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) – Hong Kong is set to raise the threshold for how many Covid-19 cases can be found on an incoming flight before the route is suspended to five from three, according to the South China Morning Post.
The government is set to make the announcement on easing the mechanism “very soon,” the Post reported, citing an unidentified person. Authorities see the risks from easing travel restrictions this month as manageable, it added.
Under the current so-called circuit-breaker mechanism, a flight is banned if three Covid-19 infections are found on the same flight, or if there’s one confirmed infection and another non-compliant passenger on hotel quarantine bookings and pre-departure tests.
Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Cathay Pacific Airways, Qatar Airways, Korean Air Lines and Malaysia Airlines were all slapped with week-long bans this month. The mechanism has led to airlines limiting their flights into Hong Kong, with Virgin Atlantic Airways stopping all flights until September.
Hong Kong eased a raft of travel measures on April 1, among them lifting an outright ban on inbound flights from nine countries, including the US, Britain and Australia, and reducing the required hotel quarantine for vaccinated inbound travellers who test negative to one week.