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19 Jul 2020 | 05:46 AM UTC

Hong Kong: Authorities tighten COVID-19 restrictions on July 19 /update 33

Authorities tighten COVID-19 restrictions on July 19 amid increase in cases; follow government directives

entry/exit
health
transportation
HKG

Event

The Hong Kong government announced on Sunday, July 19, that further restrictions would be introduced in the city following an increase in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. The decision came as the city reported more than 100 cases in 24-hours. Nonessential civil servants have been ordered to work from home for a week, and the closure of amusement parks, gyms, and other venues where social distancing is challenging has been extended by a further seven days. Face masks remain mandatory in indoor public areas, and restaurants may only provide takeaway services after 18:00 (local time). A ban on gatherings of more than four people in Hong Kong is in place.

A mandatory 14-day quarantine period remains in place for travelers arriving from mainland China, Macau, and Taiwan, while quarantine requirements for those arriving from all other destinations will remain in place until at least September 18.

As of July 19, there have been 1655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hong Kong, and ten associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

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