Hong Kong lifts controversial COVID-19 five-day flight ban

Hong Kong has announced it is suspending a COVID-19 measure that has resulted in dozens of flight cancellations and thwarted travel plans for thousands in recent months.

From Thursday, the city will no longer ban arriving airline flights just because they have brought in passengers infected with COVID-19, the government said.

“The new measure is a government decision after careful consideration of relevant data and taking into account the current peak period for international students returning to Hong Kong,” a government spokesman said.

Previously, a five-day flight route ban was imposed on airlines if at least five passengers or 5 percent of travelers — whichever was the greater — tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival.

That has caused about 100 flight cancellations since the beginning of the year.

The announcement noted that most imported COVID-19 infections could be detected by the airport and hotel tests.

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