Hong Kong adds Singapore and Iceland to list of high-risk nations following Omicron cases

Non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in high-risk countries within 21 days are banned from entering the city. PHOTO: AFP

HONG KONG - Singapore and Iceland will from Monday (Dec 6) be bumped up to Category A - which means high-risk nations - in Hong Kong from Category B, as Omicron Covid-19 variant infections have been detected in these places.

This means that non-Hong Kong residents who have stayed in these countries within 21 days are banned from entering Hong Kong.

Residents coming from Singapore or Iceland can board a flight for Hong Kong only if they have been fully vaccinated and hold a recognised vaccination record.

They have to undergo compulsory quarantine in a designated quarantine hotel for 21 days, with six tests to be conducted during quarantine, followed by compulsory testing in a community testing centre on the 26th day of arrival in Hong Kong.

All transit passengers from overseas and Taiwan must present negative Covid-19 results within 72 hours before flying to Hong Kong, the Food and Health Bureau said.

On Thursday (Dec 2), the bureau said it tightened restrictions on arrivals from Finland, Ghana, South Korea, Norway and Saudi Arabia from Sunday, due to the discovery of Omicron cases.

These places will be added to the high-risk Group A category, where non-residents are banned from entry and residents have to do a 21-day quarantine.

The move comes after the city detected four imported Omicron cases, including a South African transit passenger stranded at Hong Kong International Airport for four days due to visa issues.

The unvaccinated 38-year-old man arrived on Nov 24 on Qatar Airways Flight QR818 from Nigeria and remained on the air side of the restricted area due to a visa issue between Nov 24 and Saturday.

But he tested positive in a pre-departure test and was found to be carrying the Omicron variant.

So far, 16 airport workers have been identified as close contacts and are required to be quarantined.

Hong Kong on Friday recorded three new imported Covid-19 cases, all of which carried the highly infectious L452R mutant, or the Delta strain.

The city has recorded so far more than 12,400 confirmed cases and 213 deaths - among the lowest in the world attributable to a zero-Covid-19 approach.

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