DALLAS – Hong Kong will halt transit flights from roughly 150 nations and territories for a month, further isolating the global financial powerhouse. Since the end of last year, the city has seen roughly 50 instances of the fast-spreading Omicron variety.

The city had been without local transmissions for over three months prior to the outbreak until local authorities said the surge in infections may be traced back to two Cathay Pacific (CX) crew members. The airline halted flights to HKG at the end of November.

From Jan. 16 to Feb. 15, anyone who has remained in places categorized as high risk by health officials in the 21 days prior to travel would be unable to transit through the city, according to a statement released by Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) on Friday.

Reuters reports that the measure was taken “in order to control the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant,” according to the airport.

Cathay Pacific Airbus 350-1000 B-LXB. Photo: Ervin Eslami/Airways

A Zero-tolerance Stance

Hong Kong barred inbound flights, including interchanges, from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and the United States last week.

Even while much of the globe adjusts to living with the coronavirus, the Chinese-ruled city has adopted mainland China’s stance of zero-tolerance for local Covid-19 cases. As a result, authorities have strengthened quarantine rules on airline crews and restored social restrictions in recent weeks.

Later on Friday, the government is anticipated to announce that the restrictions will be prolonged through the Lunar New Year vacation, which begins in early February.

Featured image: Hong Kong International Airport – Photo: Hong Kong Airport Media