Hong Kong bans travel by nonresidents from South Korea beginning Feb. 25. Most crossing points with mainland China remain closed.

Severity: Warning Alert

This alert began 24 Feb 2020 16:27 GMT and is scheduled to expire 17 Mar 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Partial border closure; quarantine measures
  • Location(s): Hong Kong (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Heightened security, business and transport disruptions

Summary
From 0600 Feb. 25, officials will ban nonresidents transiting from South Korea from entering Hong Kong. Nonresidents who have traveled to South Korea within a 14-day period will also be denied entry to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong residents arriving from South Korea will be subject to strict health assessments and may be subjected to quarantines. The travel restrictions are part of a series of measures meant to limit the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Authorities in Hong Kong continue to impose a mandatory 14-day quarantine period for travelers arriving from mainland China. It applies to all travelers from mainland China to Hong Kong, regardless of residency status or nationality. Additionally, land border crossings are only possible at the Shenzhen Bay checkpoint and along the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge. The immigration processing centers at Ocean Terminal and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal also remain closed. The duration of the border crossing restrictions will likely depend on the intensity and extent of the COVID-19 outbreak in China.

Officials in Taiwan and Israel have imposed precautionary restrictions on inbound travelers from Hong Kong. Authorities may impose additional entry and exit restrictions in other locations in the coming days and possibly weeks. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) remains open, though flights are significantly reduced due to decreased demand.

The border restrictions and quarantine requirements have significantly reduced cross-border ground transport and trade. Government officials are prioritizing crossings for cargo vehicles, as Hong Kong sources most of its food from mainland China. There have been some incidents of panic buying, as residents seek to secure access to essential goods. Increased employee absenteeism will very likely continue, particularly for employees who reside in mainland China. Many businesses in Hong Kong have implemented work-from-home policies as a precaution. Schools will remain closed through at least March 16.

Advice
Confirm all planned travel to and from Hong Kong. Consider deferring nonessential travel from mainland China and South Korea to Hong Kong for the duration of the travel restrictions and mandatory quarantine measures. Follow all official instructions. Plan for transport disruptions and possible supply chain interruptions. Allow significant extra time if entering Hong Kong.

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