Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other representatives of the Hong Kong government have announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals from mainland China due to the spread of the Wuhan virus from that country.
That quarantine includes residents of Hong Kong, Chinese visitors from the mainland and any tourist or other traveler arriving in the city.
The decision was made after days of pressure from the general public, who were demanding all borders to China should be closed.
Thousands of medical personnel have also been on strike for the last three days due to the government refusing to close the borders.
Medics who said, if all checkpoints to China were not closed, Hong Kong could find itself with more cases of the coronavirus than its hospitals could handle.
Arrivals into Hong Kong from mainland China have plummeted from 29,891 on January 15th to 9,511 yesterday. That number, of course, will come to a complete halt once checkpoints are closed.
Trains and ferries into Hong Kong will also be stopped.
As Lam said, “”Who would want to enter Hong Kong from the mainland and be quarantined for as long as 14 days? In view of this, we shouldn’t have to deal with a large amount of arrivals who need to go through compulsory quarantine.”
The checkpoint closing and Hong Kong’s mandatory 14-day quarantine will go into effect on Saturday, February 8th. The government says this will give people time to make any changes to work or travel situations.
Full details of the quarantine have not yet been released, however, with Lam saying updates would be announced in the coming days.
Hong Kong currently has 21 cases of the coronavirus with one reported death.
Source: Channel News Asia