All passengers arriving in Hong Kong airport required to submit health declaration forms

In a photo taken on Feb 21, 2020, a passenger has her temperature measured by airport health staff with an infrared thermometer after she arrives inside Hong Kong International Airport. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG (REUTERS) - All passengers arriving in Hong Kong from Sunday (March 8) will be required to complete and submit a health declaration form, said the Hong Kong health authorities as the government warned the city's residents to consider deferring all non-essential travel outside of the territory amid the coronavirus outbreak around the world.

According to local broadcaster RTHK, the Health Department said travellers from the mainland can fill in the declaration on their mobile device, and this will be extended to all incoming travellers from 0000 hours on Sunday. Previously, this requirement only applied to travellers from mainland China.

The Hong Kong government had already placed a red alert - the second-highest warning in Hong Kong - on travelling to South Korea and Italy's Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy and Veneto regions.

However, the government said all travellers out of Hong Kong should now contemplate putting their plans on hold.

Hong Kong has reported 106 cases of coronavirus and two deaths in the past six weeks, according to the city's health officials.

Just three of the territory's 13 borders with mainland China remain open following the announcement of closures by Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Feb 3.

Covid-19 is the name of the illness caused by the new coronavirus.

"As the transmission of Covid-19 virus has been increasing around the world, they are advised to consider delaying all non-essential travel outside Hong Kong," the Centre for Health Protection said in a statement published on a government website on Friday.

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