The Hong Kong government says all arrivals from Europe’s Shengen bloc and South Korea will have to isolate themselves at home for 14 days startingMarch 17 (Tuesday), and has also issued red travel alerts for Europe as it steps up anti-coronavirus measures.
The home quarantine requirements were announced late on Friday, hours before new regulations come in that will force people travelling from Italy and parts of Spain, Germany and France, as well as Japan’s Hokkaido, into government quarantine centre.
According to the governmentstarting from 0.00am on March 17, people arriving in Hong Kong who have been to the following countries/areas in the past 14 days, regardless of whether they are Hong Kong residents, will be subject to compulsory home quarantine.
The countries in question are: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Republic of Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Countries not covered by the agreement include the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, which are outside the Schengen bloc.
The restrictions on South Korea have been extended; previously they only applied to the city of Daegu and the surrounding province, the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in the province.
The government is advising anyone already in one of the countries to wear a surgical mask for two weeks on their return to help prevent the spread of Covid-19, if they have a fever or other symptoms.
In general, the administration is advising against all non-essential travel outside the Special Administrative Region.