Hong Kong extends closure to nonresidents in effort to fight coronavirus

Hong Kong extends closure to nonresidents in effort to fight coronavirus
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Hong Kong will indefinitely extend its border closure to nonresidents to heighten efforts to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, The Associated Press reported on Tuesday.

The government previously announced a two-week restriction barring nonresidents from entering the city, the AP noted.

Nonresidents flying to Hong Kong are not permitted entry, according to the news service, which added that travelers from mainland China, Macao and Taiwan will be turned away if they have traveled abroad in the last 14 days.

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The semiautonomous region's government announced the updated measures after the number of reported COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong shot up to 915 on Monday.

Hong Kong reported an influx of imported virus cases in the last two weeks, citing the need for travel restrictions as it attempts to curve the outbreak.

Hong Kong's airport saw a drop of nearly 82 percent from its average number of arrivals on Sunday, the AP noted, with only 813 plane landings. The rate of flights coming into the city has dropped since restrictions were put in place on March 24.

Exemptions to the travel restrictions include aircraft crew, government officials performing duties, spouses and minor children of Hong Kong residents and personnel working with the government on anti-epidemic jobs, the news service added.