Updated information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Government invokes place-specific flightsuspension mechanism


     TheGovernment announced today (April 18) the invocation of the place-specificflight suspension mechanism for India, Pakistan, and the Philippines. From 00:00 on April 20, all passenger flights from these places will beprohibited from landing in Hong Kong for 14 days.  These places willalso at the same time be specified as extremely high-risk Group Aspecified places under the Prevention and Control of Disease (Regulation ofCross-boundary Conveyances and Travellers) Regulation (Cap. 599H), so as torestrict persons who have stayed in these places from boarding for HongKong.  The suspension will be effective for 14 days.
     The Government implemented on April 14 thetightened flight-specific suspension mechanism, as well as the new place-specificflight suspension mechanism in parallel.  Under the place-specific flightsuspension mechanism, if a total of five or more passengers among all flightsfrom the same place, regardless of airline, were confirmed by arrival tests forCOVID-19 with the N501Y mutant strain within a seven-day period, the Governmentwould invoke Cap. 599H to prohibit all passenger flights from that placefrom landing in Hong Kong for 14 days, and would at the same time specify thatplace as an extremely high-risk place under Cap. 599H to restrict persons whohave stayed in that place for more than two hours from boarding passengerflights for Hong Kong for 14 days, so as to prevent persons from the relevantplace from arriving at Hong Kong via transit.
     A Government spokesman said, “With confirmedcases involving the N501Y mutant strain detected for the first time in thecommunity in Hong Kong, for prudence’s sake, the Government has applied thecriteria of the newly implemented place-specific flight suspension mechanismretrospectively for 14 days on places where there had been imported casesconfirmed by arrival tests that carried the N501Y mutant strain.  India,Pakistan, and the Philippines all had seven-day cumulative number of relevantcases that reached the relevant criteria in the past 14 days, and theGovernment will therefore invoke the place-specific flight suspension mechanismfor these three places.”
     The place-specific suspension mechanism for thesethree places will be effective for 14 days from midnight onApril 20.  Relevant restrictions will include the prohibition ofpassenger flights from these places from landing in Hong Kong, as well asspecifying these three places as Group A specified places underCap. 599H to restrict any person who have stayed in these places for morethan two hours on the day of boarding or 21 days before that day fromboarding for Hong Kong.
     At the same time, to enhance the testing ofpersons returning to Hong Kong from overseas places, the Government will issuea compulsory testing notice for persons who returned to Hong Kong fromextremely high-risk places specified under Cap. 599H (that is the currentGroup A specified places).  After completing the compulsoryquarantine for 21 days as well as the testing on the 12th and 19th dayduring quarantine, these persons returning to Hong Kong will also need toself-monitor further for another seven days, and be subject to nucleic acidtesting on the 26th day of their return to Hong Kong.
     “The Government will continue to closely monitorthe development of the global and local epidemic situation, and will furtheradjust the relevant inbound prevention and control measures as necessary,” theGovernment spokesman said.


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