Hong Kong asks Japan to drop airport curb set to hit 60,000 travellers

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HONG KONG (Reuters) – The Hong Kong authorities has urged Japan to withdraw COVID-19 restrictions that require passenger flights from monetary hubs to land solely at 4 designated Japanese airports. , mentioned the choice will have an effect on about 60,000 passengers.

America, India, Italy and Taiwan have made it obligatory for vacationers from China to check for COVID-19 after Beijing’s resolution final month to raise its strict zero-COVID coverage, prompting a surge in instances in mainland China. I am right here.

Hong Kong, house to greater than 7 million folks, the place about 20,000 coronavirus instances are recorded each day, lifted COVID restrictions for the primary time in three years on Thursday.

Japan, a prime journey vacation spot for Hong Kong folks, has introduced that it’s going to prohibit flights from Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China to 2 airports in Tokyo, plus Osaka and Nagoya, from Friday. This resolution might be made through the peak journey season, previous to the Chinese language New Yr vacation starting January twenty second.

“It’s understood that between December 30, 2022 and the tip of January 2023, about 250 Hong Kong airline flights might be affected, affecting about 60,000 passengers,” the federal government mentioned late Wednesday. mentioned in an announcement.

Mayor John Lee mentioned the federal government confirmed its disappointment with the Japanese authorities.

“Hong Kong folks suppose they need to be allowed to make use of extra than simply these 4 airports,” Lee mentioned.

The federal government will proceed to function Hong Kong Airways flights returning to Hong Kong from numerous airports in Japan “to make sure the graceful return of Hong Kong folks from Japan and to attenuate the influence of the incident on Hong Kong vacationers”. Mentioned it may be carried.

Hong Kong’s flagship provider Cathay Pacific Airways (0293.HK) mentioned in an announcement Thursday that it’s going to proceed to function flights to Japan, however will reduce to 65 weekly flights, down 20% from its deliberate schedule for January 2023. Acknowledged.

Hong Kong Specific, which is owned by Cathay Pacific, mentioned in a separate assertion that it might solely function 60 scheduled flights every week to Japanese locations resulting from restrictions, canceling 41 flights from Hong Kong to Japan in January 2023. urged

Hong Kong Airways and Peach Aviation have introduced the cancellation of some flight routes resulting from laws.

China started dismantling its COVID regime in December with the world’s strictest lockdowns and mass testing, placing its battered financial system on observe for a full reopening subsequent yr.

The lifting of restrictions, adopted by widespread outcry towards them, might enable COVID to unfold largely unchecked, infecting hundreds of thousands of individuals a day, in response to some worldwide well being consultants. It means that there’s

Reporting by Farah Grasp and Twinnie Siu.Edited by Lincoln Feast and Stephen Coates

Our requirements: Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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