Faisal Maliki Baskoro, Jakarta – Hong Kong has announced a ban on all flights, including transit, from Indonesia, which would be in effect on June 25, following a steep increase in Covid-19 cases in the Southeast Asian country.
"As the number of imported cases from Indonesia has reached the above threshold, the Government will invoke the place-specific flight suspension for Indonesia and specify Indonesia as a Group A1 specified place on June 25," the Government of Hongkong Special Administrative Region said in a statement on Wednesday.
Under the territory's regulation, if within a seven-day period, five or more airline passengers from the same country test positive for Covid-19 upon arrival, or 10 or more people from the same country test positive for Covid-19 after arrival or during quarantine, then the government will impose a ban on landing in Hong Kong and categorize the country as category A1, the category with the highest risk.
The Hong Kong government now categorized Indonesia as extremely high risk, or group A-1 category, along with Brazil, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, and South Africa.
All persons departing from that country will be barred from entering Hong Kong, even if the person is only a 2-hour layover or transit.
According to a report from China Daily, four passengers boarding Garuda Indonesia Flight 876 from Jakarta were tested positive for Covid-19 when they arrived in Hong Kong last Sunday. That finding had led to the Indonesian flag carrier being banned from entering Hong Kong from June 22 to July 5.
Then, last Tuesday, seven imported cases were found, consisting of six women from Indonesia and a man whose travel history was unclear.
Hong Kong did not specify how long the place-specific flight suspension for Indonesia would remain in place.
"The Government will continue to closely monitor the epidemic situation of various places, the prevalence of new virus variants, vaccination progress, and changes in the volume of cross-boundary passenger traffic, and will adjust the boarding and compulsory quarantine requirements for persons arriving at Hong Kong from relevant places as the situation warrants," a Hong Kong government spokesman said in the statement.