28 June, 2021

Hong Kong to ban all passengers from the UK

In an aggressive move, Hong Kong will ban all passengers that have spent longer than two hours in the UK from boarding planes to the Chinese province from this Thursday.

The Hong Kong administration confirmed the ban and said this was due to the excessive number of Delta variant infections occurring in the UK over recent weeks, "the recent rebound of the epidemic situation in the UK and the widespread Delta variant virus strain there, coupled with a number of cases with L452R mutant virus strains detected by tests from people arriving from the UK."

Hong Kong will declare the UK is an extremely high-risk destination and is the second time Hong Kong has barred arrivals from Britain after a ban that was in force from December 2020 until May. This news will cause dismay to some in the travel industry who had hoped for a long-haul bounce after the previous ban had been lifted.

Although flights on Cathay Pacific were still on sale on the Hong Kong-based carriers website for dates after the reintroduction of the ban this evening. 

Some in the industry have indicated the ban may be more politically motivated than reliant on purely scienced based decisions following the UK's recent condemnation of enforced closure of Apple Daily, the arrests of its former journalists, including Fung Wai-kong as well as the erosion of civil liberties and freedoms in Hong Kong in recent months. 


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