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Covid-19: Hong Kong asks Japan to drop airport bans, 60,000 travellers affected


HONG KONG: Hong Kong asked Japan to withdraw one Limit Covid-19 allowing passenger flights from the financial hub to land at only four designated airports, said the decision would affect about 60,000 passengers.
India, Italy, Taiwan and the United States mandatory requirements Covid-19 Tests on travelers from China following Beijing’s decision last month to lift strict Covid-free policies have fueled a surge in infections across mainland China. .
Hong Kong, home to more than 7 million people, is recording about 20,000 coronavirus infections a day but has lifted it Covid restraint on Thursday for the first time in three years.
Japan, the top travel destination for people in Hong Kong, said it would limit flights from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China to Tokyo’s two airports, as well as Osaka and Nagoya, from Friday.
The decision was made during the peak tourist season ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday starting January 21.
“Approximately 250 outbound flights by Hong Kong airlines will be affected between December 30, 2022 and the end of January 2023, affecting approximately 60,000 passengers,” the government said in a statement late at the time. The forth day.
city ​​leaders. John Lee said the government had told Japan it was disappointed.
“We think that Hong Kong people should be allowed to use more than just these four airports,” Lee said.
On Thursday, the Hong Kong government said Japan would allow passenger flights from Hong Kong to land in Hokkaido, Fukuoka and Japan. Okinawa provided that none of the passengers on board had been in mainland China in the previous seven days, but said the situation was “unreasonable”.
Flights by Hong Kong airlines can still carry passengers back to Hong Kong from airports in Japan, the government said, to ensure a smooth return and “minimize the impact on tourism” Hong Kong guests caused by the incident”.
In a statement, Hong Kong’s flagship carrier Cathay Pacific Airways said it will continue to operate flights to Japan, although it will reduce these to 65 flights a week, a 20% discount. compared to the scheduled schedule in January 2023.
HK Express, owned by Cathay, said in a separate statement that it would only be able to operate 60 scheduled flights per week to destinations in Japan due to restrictions, making 41 flights from Hong Kong to Japan canceled in January.
Hong Kong Airlines and Peach Aviation said they would cancel some flights because of regulations.
In December, China began lifting the world’s most stringent Covid-19 lockdown and widespread testing, putting its battered economy on track to fully reopen next year.
Some international health experts say the lifting of restrictions after widespread protests means Covid is spreading largely unchecked, potentially infecting millions a day.

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