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Hong Kong extends quarantine for arriving travelers to 21 days

Hong Kong extends quarantine for arriving travelers to 21 days
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Hong Kong extended its quarantine period for all travelers arriving from outside of China by a week to 21 days, Reuters reported on Thursday. 

The ramped up efforts come as officials seek to mitigate the spread of a new variant of the coronavirus detected in the United Kingdom that may be more transmissible than the initial strain. 

“Noting the drastic change of the global pandemic situation with the new virus variant found in more countries, there is a need for the government to introduce resolute measures immediately... to ensure that no case would slip through the net even under very exceptional cases where the incubation period of the virus is longer than 14 days,” a Hong Kong government spokesman said in a statement, according to Reuters. 

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Along with the extended quarantine period, set to go into effect Friday, Hong Kong is also banning all people who have stayed in South Africa in the past 21 days from boarding for Hong Kong, according to Reuters. 

Hong Kong had already banned all flights arriving from the United Kingdom.

The U.S. is also taking increased action to mitigate the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said late Thursday the U.S. will require all airline passengers arriving from the U.K. to provide a negative coronavirus test before boarding their flights.