Hong Kong bans flights from more than 150 countries amid omicron surge

The Hong Kong International Airport is temporarily suspending incoming commercial flights from 150 countries, including the U.S., from Sunday to Feb. 15, according to a notice posted on its website.

Passengers who have stayed in countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada or Russia in the past 21 days fall under the suspension. The notice said the decision was made “in order to control the spread of the highly infectious omicron variant.”

Hong Kong’s health agency reported 385 positive cases of COVID-19 in the past 14 days, most of which were “imported” from other countries, officials said in a news release on Friday.

The city has locked down multiple residential buildings and mass-tested thousands in response to the new cases, The Associated Press reported.

The restrictions follow a tightening of control in the latest wave of the pandemic and as China prepares to host the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

China is implementing citywide testing in some cities and is also testing children from international schools as part of its “zero-case” policy.