HONG KONG — As part of the city’s effort to stem an outbreak of omicron, Hong Kong authorities banned flights from the U.S. and seven other countries for two weeks on Wednesday.
The city also halted 2,500 passengers from boarding a cruise ship for coronavirus testing.
From Sunday through January 21, passenger flights from Australia, Canada, France, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, Britain, and the United States will be prohibited.
Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam also announced that restaurant dining will be prohibited after 6 p.m. commencing Friday for two weeks. During that time, bars, beauty salons, and game arcades must also close.
“We have to contain the pandemic to ensure that there will not be a major outbreak in the community again,” Lam said at a news conference, adding that the city is “on the verge” of another surge.
The measures follow several new omicron clusters that have emerged over the past week, many linked to Cathay Pacific crew members who broke isolation rules and dined at restaurants and bars before testing positive.
According to Hong Kong’s health department, there have been 114 omicron variant cases reported as of Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it reported its first untraceable case in nearly three months, which authorities said was likely caused by the omicron variant.